The Taliban could isolate Afghanistan’s capital Kabul in 30 days and potentially take it over in 90 days, a US defense official told Reuters on Wednesday, citing a US intelligence assessment.
Taliban fighters have taken control of eight provincial capitals in six days, a pace that has surprised US officials.
Taliban forces now control 65 percent of Afghanistan and have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday.
The US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new assessment followed the rapid gains the Taliban had been making around Afghanistan.
“But this is not a foregone conclusion,” the official added, saying that the Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance against the insurgent group.
The US has essentially pulled all troops out of Afghanistan, except those staying to protect the US embassy and airport in Kabul, with the military mission set to end on August 31.