The autumn of Sar-i-Pul threatens a industrial hub in Afghanistan’s north.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Of the three cities seized by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, Sar-i-Pul, the capital of the province with the identical identify, garnered fewer headlines and fewer concern from the worldwide neighborhood.
Due to its remoteness, the town had been broadly uncared for by each the Afghan authorities and the worldwide help companies that flocked to Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion in 2001.
However on Sunday, after greater than a month of combating and airstrikes, the town lastly fell to the insurgents, leaving residents grappling with a brand new energy construction and going through the prospect of extra violence.
From a navy standpoint, the province is of lesser strategic significance. However Sar-i-Pul provides entry to untapped pure sources, together with oil fields that had been lately drilled close to the provincial capital and brought over by the Taliban.
By the top of June, the Taliban had captured 4 districts in Sar-i-Pul as a part of their broader offensive within the north. With the province now largely beneath their management, the insurgents have positioned themselves to assault Mazar-i-Sharif, an financial hub and capital of Balkh Province, from two totally different instructions: Sar-i-Pul and Jowzjan within the west, and Kunduz within the east.
Sar-i-Pul province itself has a inhabitants of round 621,000 folks and is ethnically numerous, with ethnic Uzbeks making up a plurality.