KABUL — Taliban insurgents abandoned their effort to take over the capital of the western Afghan province of Farah, leaving the city early Wednesday without apparent opposition, local residents said.
Even with 25 members of the security forces and five civilians killed, officials immediately hailed the insurgents’ departure as a victory.
They said that hundreds of insurgents had been killed in the one-day assault on Farah city and that the government’s response proved it could beat back any Taliban initiative.
But for many Afghans, the assault showed mostly that the insurgents could attack at will even against a well-entrenched government position backed up by both Afghan and US air power.
A team of US Army Special Forces commandos, accompanied by armed drones and A-10 ground attack jets, was dispatched to Farah to help Afghan forces push back the Taliban, according to US military officials.