After Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that the Taliban were in control key Afghan border town, Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that Islamabad has now issued a warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force against dislodging the Taliban from Spin Boldak border area.
Taking to Twitter, Saleh said that the Pakistan Air Force is now providing close air support to the Taliban in certain areas. “Pakistan air force has issued official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled by the Pakistan Air Force. Pak air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas,”he tweeted.
Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan had confirmed that the Taliban were in control of a key town on the Afghan side of its border area. “They have taken control of Spin Boldak border crossing,” said Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, as quoted by Pakistan Observer.
This comes a day after the Taliban’s claim that they have seized the border town as part of an offensive across the war-torn country. Local media on Wednesday reported that the Taliban have captured a main border crossing with Pakistan, in southern Kandahar province.
The crossing is one of Afghanistan’s busiest entry points and the main link between its southwest region and Pakistani ports. Multiple reports suggest that the group had taken down the Afghan flag from the top of the border crossing gate between the Afghan town of Wesh and the Pakistani town of Chaman.
Taliban spokesperson also took to Twitter to announce the capture of the crossing. “With this, the important road and customs between Boldak and Chaman came under the control of Mujahidin, the Islamic Emirate assures all traders and residents in the town that their security will be tightened,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah tweeted in Pashto.
The terrorist group further stated that they will resume travel and transit on the passage once they reach an agreement with the Pakistan side.
In the past few weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified their offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.
Last week, the Afghanistan government had said that the fall of key dry ports has disrupted exports and imports, imposing negative impacts on the country’s economic activities.