The United Nations Security Council will discuss the security situation in Afghanistan on August 6 as the Taliban continued to make gains on the ground in fighting against government forces.
The meeting comes at the request of the Afghan government, Norway, and Estonia and will be the first time the Security Council has discussed the topic since June.
Fighting in Afghanistan has stepped up significantly since May when the United States and other countries began withdrawing their forces in a pullout that is expected to be completed this month.
Taliban militants now control large portions of the country and are confronting Afghan forces in and near several large cities, including Herat, Lashkar Gah, and Kandahar.
Three Taliban commanders told the Reuters news agency that the militants were changing their strategy from capturing rural areas to focusing on cities.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bikantov told a press conference in Moscow on August 4 that “the Taliban has no resources to capture and hold major cities, including the country’s capital, Kabul.”
“Their offensive is running out of steam,” Bikantov said, adding however that the security situation in the country “is degrading.”
The Taliban on August 4 warned that it would target senior government officials in retaliation for U.S. and Afghan air strikes against its fighters.
On August 5, the European Union called for “an urgent, comprehensive, and permanent cease-fire” in Afghanistan.