Mawlavi Talib, the Taliban commander leading the assault on the key southern city of Lashkar Gah is one of 5,000 former prisoners that the United States pressured the Afghan government to release last year after the peace deal was signed by the Trump administration and the Taliban. 

The Afghan government knew he would return to the battlefield. This development, which surprises no one, will no doubt be another sore spot between Washington and Kabul. 

With the U.S. and NATO withdrawal nearly completed, the Taliban have gone on the offense and are gobbling up district after district. They now have captured nearly half of the districts and are gearing up to threaten provincial capitals.

The Fight Is Desperate in Lashkar Gar

Afghan commandos
Afghan commandos are overtasked and the only reliable unit the Afghan government can count on. (AP)

The fierce fighting in Lashkar Gar, Helmand province’s capital, continues as the Taliban have pushed the Afghan commandos into a corner.