Kabul, Afghanistan – Associated Press reported Afghan forces alongside U.S. air strikes pushed back a Taliban offensive on Thursday in a strategically important district located in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

This week it was thought Sangin district could fall in the hands of the Taliban since it had been surrounded by insurgents. According to civilian and military officials, Sangin is still in government hands after the US deployed two air strikes.  

The UK deployed additional forces to aid Afghan forces on Sangin. Credit: Drury Mirror

“US forces conducted two strikes in Sangin on December 23 against threats to the force,” a spokesman for the military coalition said on Thursday.

Today, when it appeared the Taliban had taken control of almost all of Sangin, the Afghanistan’s government sent reinforcements to help the forces that were besieged, reported Al Jazeera.

Zabiullah Mujahid, who is the Taliban spokesperson, said on Wednesday, fighters for the movement had raised their flags since they had seized the entire district, the police and military installations.

Helmand’s deputy governor, Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar said to Al Jazeera they were still fighting to push back the Taliban and he remarked that parts of Sangin are under Taliban control but not the police and military installations. Also military planes have dropped food and supplies to the Afghan forces on the ground.

In order to support the local forces, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that British troops had been sent to the province after the Afghan Defense Minister requested international support and air cover.

A spokesman said the UK will deploy British personnel to Camp Shorabak in Helmand Province as part of the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. He added that, in total, the UK has around 450 troops in Afghanistan mentoring and supporting the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and the Afghan Security Ministries.

The Taliban published a statement where they said that before entering Afghanistan, the British should have studied the history of their ancestors and should have learned a lesson from the repeated defeat.

“For that reason they would have not come with the intend to invade our country. They were defeated even after the presence of thousands of troops and the same will happen with these few hundred troops, this means nothing else but a shameful humiliation for them. They have made no accomplishment even after fighting for the past 14 years. We are still strong,” the statement said.

Source: Al Jazeera