Taliban Takes Over Herat as Territory in Afghanistan Expands

The Taliban have seized the provincial capital of Herat, Afghanistan's third largest city after two weeks of fighting, the Associated Press reported.

Over the past week, the insurgent group has conquered 10 other provincial capitals and controls more than 67 percent of the nation's territory, according to recent estimates.

The seizure of Herat places the group closer to the nation's capital and largest city, Kabul. The AP reported the seizure of this capital puts nearly all of the country's western territory under the Taliban's rule.

Last April, President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of the 3,000 American troops remaining in the nation, pushing for a full removal by August 31. In wake of the Taliban's continued conquest, Biden said the following:

"Afghan leaders have to come together," he said. "They've got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation."

President Joe Biden didn't respond to reporters questions about Afghanistan during a White House appearance Thursday.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT
In the past few weeks Taliban forces have taken control of more than 67 percent of Afghanistan. Afghan security force personnel stand guard along the roadside in Herat, Afghanistan on Thursday. Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

Correction 08/12/2021, 2:17 p.m. ET: This article was corrected to reflect that President Joe Biden's deadline for the full removal of troops from Afghanistan is August 31.