Afghanistan’s prominent leader and ex-Mujahideen commander Amir Ismail Khan has been captured by the Taliban on August 13 for the second time as the insurgents continue to tighten their grip on the war-stricken nation. Meanwhile, TOLO News reported citing sources that all Afghan government officials including the governor, police chief, heads of NDS office, the Afghan deputy minister of interior for security, and the 207 Zafar Corps commander, have surrendered to the Taliban Herat fell to the Taliban.
Ismail Khan is often dubbed as “warlord” or just “Amir” is a former Mujahid and is in his 70s. So far, it was Khan and his “army” that prevented Herat’s fall into the Taliban’s control but as US troops continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the insurgents have grown to unprecedented power. Khan’s dominant leadership in the country began from the Herat rebellion in 1979 and he fought the Taliban again this year. He has also fought against the Soviets and served as an Afghan army officer in 1979.
In 1992, Khan became the governor of Herat province and fought the insurgents until he was captured in 1997. However, at the time he managed to escape and eventually became one of the crucial elements of the anti-Taliban military coalition or Northern Alliance / United Front. In an interview with the Associated Press in 2019, when the Afghan government and Taliban had not started peace talks, Khan had said that the extremists “are ready to find a solution that is good for every Afghan,” but they steadfastly refuse to talk with the Afghan government alone, adding the government is a US 'puppet.'
Further citing a Wall Street Journal report, ANI stated that the Taliban is now forcing women to get married to its fighters in the conquered regions. As the insurgents continue to make advancements, Afghans are also witnessing the execution of captured soldiers and reportedly unprovoked attacks on civilians by the Taliban in the latest areas it captured.
As per the report, Afghans are fleeing to Kabul and those who are still left in the Taliban-held areas have been informed of the unprovoked attacks on civilians. In addition, they have reportedly also said the insurgents have demanded the communities to turn over unmarried women to become “wives” of the terrorists which human rights groups have said, is a form of sexual violence.
On August 12, the US Embassy in Kabul has also denounced the Taliban over reports that the extremists executed Afghan soldiers who had surrendered. On Twitter, the embassy said, “Deeply disturbing & could constitute war crimes.”