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With air power and help from warlord Afghan forces beat back Taliban offensive in Herat

The Herat province of Afghanistan is on the border with both Iran and Turkmenistan (Photo: Google Maps)

Afghan special forces in their hundreds have landed in the bordering province of Herat to beat back a Taliban offensive in this strategic zone—a gateway to Iran, and on the route to Central Asia and the Bamian province in the country’s centre.

Hundreds of #special forces arrived in Herat province! These forces will increase offensive operations and suppress the #Taliban in #Herat. The security situation in the province will improve soon, the Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry tweeted.

Afghan Forces (Photo: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E7rilSCXMAAkTUz?format=jpg&name=medium)

Herat has a crucially important location. The Afghan Highway 77 (AH 77) connects the province to Mary and Turkmenistan in the north. Another highway links the province with Mashhad in Iran to the northwest. The Kandahar Herat highway to the south connects Delaram on the route to the Iranian port of Chabahar.

The Afghanistan Times earlier reported that  in the combat with the Taliban, Afghan troops have retaken a key town from Taliban  

The Afghan defence ministry said on Saturday that the army recaptured Herat’s Gozar district, driving out the Taliban militants.  It also said that Afghan troops have killed more than 131 militants and arrested five in raids,

The use of Air power marshalled by the Afghan air force was the key to the takeover. The defence ministry in a tweet said: “Afghan security forces, with the support of the Afghan Air Force, have regained control of the Gozar district of Herat province from Taliban control.”

The role of the Herat warlord Ismail Khan, who earned a name when fighting the Soviet Army  would be crucial in keeping the Taliban at bay. Khan has mobilised hundreds of tribal militias and called on residents to arm themselves and start a “popular uprising” against the insurgents, The Independent newspaper is reporting.              

Also Read: Afghanistan’s warlords once again in the spotlight amid a raging Civil War