Fighting has dramatically increased in Afghanistan, with outbreaks in various parts of the country. Heavy clashes in Helmand have displaced thousands of families. Members of the Meshrano Jirga, the Afghan senate, say they remain concerned about the situation and they call for a reduction in violence.
Some senators said the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country will help reduce the fighting, and others said there is a need for more support for the Afghan forces from both the central government and the international community, particularly the US.
The clashes in Helmand have continued for the last four days and have displaced over 4,000 people, according to local officials. Fighting has been reported in more than a dozen provinces of the country amid the ongoing peace talks in Doha.
"We will put pressure on the central government to further support the Afghan forces in all provinces, especially Helmand," said Senate Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar.
"We will witness Helmand-like situations in other provinces and in Kabul if the government continues to ignore whatís happening," said Gulalai Akbari, a senator.
Other senators said they are skeptical about the international forcesí support for their Afghan allies.
"There is a need for an immediate ceasefire in the country and the withdrawal of international forces, especially Americans," said Anarkali Huaryar, a senator.
"Americans are not honest with us. On the one hand, they have a security pact with us, and on the other hand, they are trying in a way to impose the current situation on us," said Gulalai Noor Safi, a senator.
Spokespeople for the US forces in Afghanistan on Monday said that several targeted strikes were conducted in Helmand to support Afghan security forces that were under attack by the Taliban in the last few days.
clashes are ongoing on the outskirts of Lashkargah city, the center of Helmand, forcing dozens of families to leave their homes in search of safe places.
the past two days, US Forces-Afghanistan has conducted several targeted strikes in Helmand to defend the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) under attack by Taliban fighters, consistent with the US-Taliban agreement," said US forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett.
Col. Leggett said USFOR-A has and will continue to provide support in defense of the ANDSF under attack by the Taliban.
Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the Taliban should immediately stop their offensive in Helmand.
"The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan peace talks," Miller said on Monday.