Heavy fighting between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance forces is going on near the airport of Mazar-i-Sharif, main city of the Balkh province bordering on Uzbekistan, according to the Pakistani state radio. The Taliban are also reported to have launched a counter-offensive against the Alliance forces east and south-east of the city. Mohammed Khabil, a spokesman for the Northern Alliance, acknowledged that the Taliban forces were attacking the Marmul area and the Shadian gorge after the Alliance units approaced closer than 5 km to the city. The Taliban are supported by armoured vehicles and tanks, according to Khabil, while the US has not rendered the promised air support to the Northern Alliance, though bomb strikes had been staged on the city earlier.
After the incident with the shootdown of the Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Russia will supply an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria