After two decades and billions spent, Afghan government collapses as Taliban takes Kabul

Written by on August 15, 2021

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Taliban takes Kabul as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the nation, as Taliban reached Kabul.


  • U.S. Embassy, different western missions have been evacuated as Taliban forces enter Kabul.
  • The Taliban seized practically all of Afghanistan in simply over per week.
  • A Taliban spokesman advised Al-Jazeera English that they’re searching for unconditional give up.

In a swift and beautiful rout, Taliban fighters seized management of Afghanistan’s capital Sunday, finishing their sweep of the besieged nation because the Afghan authorities collapsed after twenty years of U.S. efforts to reshape the area as a part of its “battle on terror.”

Embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation because the Taliban entered the capital metropolis of Kabul, and American troops scrambled to evacuate hundreds of U.S. diplomats and Afghans from the U.S. Embassy.

The Taliban, which had been on the outskirts of Kabul for hours, introduced quickly after it will transfer farther right into a metropolis gripped by panic all through the day as helicopters raced overhead to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose close to the compound as workers destroyed essential paperwork. A number of different Western missions ready to drag their individuals out.

The Pentagon approved a further 1,000 U.S. troops to be deployed to Afghanistan to assist with the evacuation efforts, mentioned a protection official who was not approved to talk publicly. That’s on high of the 5,000 troops that President Joe Biden introduced Saturday can be despatched to make sure “an orderly and secure” drawdown and evacuate U.S. personnel, in addition to Afghans who helped American forces.

The Taliban is prone to declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul, an official advised The Related Press. The Al-Jazeera community broadcast footage of Taliban fighters contained in the presidential palace, sitting behind a desk that the community presumed was Ghani’s and putting their weapons on it.

In Washington, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met through videoconference with their nationwide safety crew to listen to updates on the evacuation of civilian personnel and allies who labored alongside the U.S. authorities through the 20-year battle.

On Sunday night, a joint assertion from the State and Protection departments mentioned the U.S. is working to safe Kabul’s airport to permit for departures, and would take over air visitors management with added troops on the bottom.

“Tomorrow and over the approaching days, we might be transferring overseas hundreds of Americans who’ve been resident in Afghanistan, in addition to regionally employed workers of the U.S. mission in Kabul and their households and different notably susceptible Afghan nationals. And we are going to speed up the evacuation of hundreds of Afghans eligible for U.S. Particular Immigrant Visas, practically 2,000 of whom have already arrived in america over the previous two weeks,” the assertion reads.

What we all know: How did the Taliban retake Afghanistan so shortly? What’s occurring now?

An exit reminding a few of Saigon

America’s longest battle started after the fear assaults Sept. 11, 2001, plotted by al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden, who was harbored by the Taliban authorities. A U.S.-led invasion compelled the Taliban to retreat.

For some, the U.S. pullout was a reminder of America’s ignominious withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, which ended with photos of U.S. helicopters evacuating Individuals from the roof of the embassy in Saigon.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken flatly rejected such comparisons. “That is manifestly not Saigon,” Blinken argued, characterizing the elimination of embassy and different personnel as “very deliberate.”

Nonetheless, analysts predicted that historical past would view the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan as a failure.

“On Day One, we go in, and the Taliban is in cost. Twenty years later, the Taliban is again in cost,” mentioned Jack Weinstein, a former Pentagon official and skilled on worldwide safety.

“I don’t understand how you sofa that as a victory,” he mentioned.

US responds: U.S. troops evacuate embassy workers to Kabul airport as Taliban encircles Afghan capital, Blinken says

Caught off-guard

Although Kabul had been anticipated to fall, the velocity of its collapse clearly caught the Biden administration off-guard. 

Biden set a deadline of Aug. 31 to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan and produce an finish to the 20-year battle. Final week, an American navy evaluation estimated it will be a month earlier than the capital would come beneath rebel strain.

Defying expectations, the Taliban seized practically all of Afghanistan in a short while, regardless of the a whole lot of billions of {dollars} spent by america and NATO over practically twenty years to construct up Afghan safety forces. The Afghans had been defeated by the Taliban or fled a lot of the nation, regardless that they’d some air help from the U.S. navy.

Extra: A timeline of the US withdrawal and Taliban reconquest of Afghanistan

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Sunday the safety state of affairs was deteriorating and instructed Americans to “shelter in place” amid studies of gunfire on the airport.  American troops had been within the midst of evacuating all diplomatic workers from the embassy to the airport because the Taliban entered Kabul

Ghani flew overseas, in line with a number of media shops.

He supplied a proof in a Fb submit Sunday: “At present, I got here throughout a tough alternative; I ought to stand to face the armed Taliban who needed to enter the palace or go away the expensive nation that I devoted my life to defending and defending the previous twenty years. … The Taliban have made it to take away me, they’re right here to assault all Kabul and the individuals of Kabul. To be able to keep away from the bleeding flood, I assumed it was greatest to get out.”

Abdullah Abdullah, the pinnacle of the Afghan Nationwide Reconciliation Council, criticized Ghani’s exit. “The previous president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the nation on this troublesome state of affairs,” Abdullah mentioned. “God ought to maintain him accountable.”

Afghans fearing that the Taliban would reimpose the type of brutal rule that each one however eradicated girls’s rights rushed to depart the nation, lining up at money machines to withdraw their life financial savings, the AP reported.

Extra: Taliban’s Afghanistan advance checks Biden’s ‘America is again’ international coverage promise

Taliban remained robust

For years, U.S. and Afghan forces centered on controlling provide chains and main cities, forcing the Taliban into Afghanistan’s rugged hinterland. The Taliban remained robust within the mountainous rural areas, utilizing these areas as bases of assault to grab territory as soon as U.S. forces left.

The Taliban remained answerable for strategic border crossings, in line with The Related Press, smuggling weapons and provides whereas rejuvenating forces outdoors the nation.

In February 2020, Washington beneath President Donald Trump signed a take care of the Taliban that restricted direct navy motion in opposition to the insurgents. That allowed the fighters to collect energy and transfer shortly to grab areas when Biden introduced his plans to withdraw all American forces by the tip of this month.

Extra: Trump claims Afghanistan withdrawal would have been ‘way more profitable’ if he had been president. Would it not?

Taliban awaits ‘peaceable switch of Kabul metropolis’

Sunday, Taliban negotiators within the capital mentioned the switch of energy, mentioned an Afghan official who spoke on situation of anonymity for worry of reprisals, in line with AP.

It remained unclear when that switch would happen and who among the many Taliban was negotiating. The negotiators on the federal government facet included former President Hamid Karzai; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, chief of the Hezb-e-Islami political and paramilitary group; and Abdullah, who has been a vocal critic of Ghani.

Karzai, together with his three daughters, appeared in a video, saying he remained in Kabul.

“We try to unravel the difficulty of Afghanistan with the Taliban management peacefully,” he mentioned, whereas the roar of a passing helicopter might be heard overhead.

Taliban returns: Many worry it would once more finish Afghan human rights, help terrorism

Afghanistan’s performing protection minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, lashed out at Ghani.

“They tied our arms from behind and offered the nation,” he wrote on Twitter. “Curse Ghani and his gang.”

Taliban fighters tried to calm residents of the capital, insisting they wouldn’t enter individuals’s properties or intrude with companies. They mentioned they’d supply an “amnesty” to those that labored with the Afghan authorities or international forces.

“Nobody’s life, property and dignity might be harmed, and the lives of the residents of Kabul is not going to be in danger,” the insurgents mentioned in an announcement, in line with AP.

Extra: First group of Afghan interpreters who served with US troops are on their approach to a brand new life within the US

Stories of brutality throughout Afghanistan

There have been studies of revenge killings and different brutal techniques in areas of the nation the Taliban have seized. One feminine journalist, weeping, despatched voice messages to colleagues after armed males entered her condo constructing and banged on her door.

“What ought to I do? Ought to I name the police or Taliban?” Getee Azami cried. It wasn’t clear what occurred to her after that.

Many rushed to the Kabul airport, the final route overseas after the Taliban took each border crossing. NATO mentioned it was “serving to to keep up operations at Kabul airport to maintain Afghanistan related with the world.”

One Afghan college pupil described feeling betrayed as she watched the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy.

“You failed the youthful era of Afghanistan,” mentioned Aisha Khurram, 22, who’s not sure whether or not she’ll be capable of graduate in two months. “A era … raised within the fashionable Afghanistan had been hoping to construct the nation with their very own arms. They put blood, efforts and sweat into no matter we had proper now.”

Sunday started with the Taliban seizing the close by metropolis of Jalalabad – which had been the final main metropolis in addition to the capital not of their arms. Afghan officers mentioned the militants additionally took the capitals of Maidan Wardak, Khost, Kapisa and Parwan provinces, in addition to the nation’s final government-held border submit.

Later, Afghan forces at Bagram air base, dwelling to a jail housing 5,000 inmates, surrendered to the Taliban, in line with Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi. The jail on the former U.S. base held each Taliban and Islamic State group fighters.

Contributing: The Related Press

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