Northern Afghan district falls to the Taliban

The Taliban seized control of the district of Yamgan in the northern Afghanistan province of Badakhshan. The district had been under siege for several months before falling to the Taliban today.

Afghan officials said that Yamgan fell to the Taliban “following hours of clashes with security forces that raged after midnight,” TOLONews reported. The Taliban had blocked all roads leading to the district before making its final push.

The Taliban has yet to comment on the fall of Yamgan.

Yamgan has been one of several districts in Badakhshan under constant threat. The Taliban first captured the district on Nov. 18, 2015, and held it up until Sept. 2019, when the Afghan military retook the district. The Taliban did not give up the fight, and redoubled efforts to regain control of Yamgan – successful now six months later.

Security in Badakhshan has deteriorated since the U.S. ended its surge in 2012 and began withdrawing significant numbers of troops. Today, 21 of Badakhshan’s 28 districts are contested, one is controlled by the Taliban, and six are controlled by the Afghan government, according to an ongoing assessment by FDD’s Long War Journal.

The Taliban continues to press its military operations against the Afghan government and security forces, even as U.S. military officers somehow continue to wonder if the attacks are part of the Taliban’s strategy or are being executed by a rogue “splinter.”