The United States has warned that it will continue bombing in Afghanistan if the Taliban offensive persists.

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source: www.dw.com

The United States has warned that it will continue bombing in Afghanistan if the Taliban offensive persists.

The country's chief of U.S. military operations acknowledged that difficult days were ahead for the Afghan government but insisted that the Islamists were nowhere near victory.

The United States will continue its airstrikes in support of the Afghan forces if the Taliban continue the offensive they have carried out since the beginning of May, the head of U.S. military operations in that country warned this Sunday in Kabul.

"The United States has intensified its airstrikes in support of Afghan forces in recent days, and we are ready to continue this high level of support in the coming days if the Taliban continue their attacks," said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of the Central Command of the U.S. Army (Centcom).

The Taliban have seized large rural areas of Afghanistan during an offensive for the past three months, coinciding with the beginning of the final withdrawal of international forces, now almost complete.

The Afghan forces have offered little resistance and essentially control only the provincial capitals and main roads.

McKenzie acknowledged difficult days ahead for the Afghan government but insisted the Taliban were nowhere near victory.

I want to make it clear that the government of Afghanistan will face severe tests in the coming days. The Taliban are trying to make their campaign irreparable. They are wrong," General McKenzie said. "The victory of the Taliban is not inevitable. "

As head of Centcom, which oversees U.S. military activities in 20 countries in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, McKenzie had led military operations in Afghanistan since July 12, when General Austin Scott Miller's on-site command ended.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the US-led international coalition government almost refused to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Twenty years later, the Taliban's recent rise to prominence has raised fears that they will regain power.

The fighting continues

McKenzie's comments came as Afghan officials in the southern province of Kandahar said fighting in the area had displaced about 22,000 families in the past month.

Dost Mohammad Daryab, head of the provincial refugee department, told AFP that they had all moved from the city's volatile districts to safer areas.

Fighting continued on the outskirts of Kandahar City on Sunday.

Lalai Dastagiri, deputy governor of Kandahar Province, told AFP that the Taliban had come so close due to the negligence of some security forces, especially the police.

Now, we are trying to organize our security forces.

Local authorities set up four camps for the homeless, estimated at 154,000.

McKenzie's comments came as Afghan officials in the southern province of Kandahar said fighting in the area had displaced about 22,000 families in the past month.

Dost Mohammad Daryab, head of the provincial refugee department, told AFP that they had all moved from the city's volatile districts to safer areas.

Fighting continued on the outskirts of Kandahar City on Sunday.

Lalai Dastagiri, deputy governor of Kandahar Province, told AFP that the Taliban had come so close due to the negligence of some security forces, especially the police.

Now, we are trying to organize our security forces.

Local authorities set up four camps for the homeless, estimated at 154,000.

Hafiz Mohammad Akbar, a Kandahar resident, said the Taliban had seized his house after he fled.

They forced us to leave. "So now I am living with my 20-year-old family in a complex without a bathroom," Akbar said.

Kandahar, with a population of 650,000, is the second largest city in Afghanistan after Kabul.

The southern province was the center of the Taliban government when they ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.

After being ousted in a US-led invasion in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban have led a deadly insurgency that continues to this day.

Its latest offensive, launched in early May, has seen the group take control of half of the country's 400 districts.