The U.S. military isto safely remove State Department staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The emergency move comes as a Taliban takeover of the country could be weeks, if not days away — and it’s happening with alarming speed.
Taliban forces now control two-thirds of Afghanistan and its second largest city, Kandahar, has just fallen.
Some predict the capital will come under attack within 30 days.
The U.S.-backed Afghan military has been no match for Taliban fighters who are taking advantage of the vacuum left by the U.S. troop withdrawal.
With stunning speed, Taliban fighters are sweeping across Afghanistan.
On top of Kandahar, the Taliban has also taken the third-largest city Herat, dealing another moral and strategic blow to the Afghan government.
After seizing the city of Ghazni, the Taliban is now only about 90 miles southwest of Kabul.
The group’s rapid victories are overwhelming Afghan security forces, which triggered the U.S. to announce a significant staff drawdown at its embassy in the coming days.
The State Department said about 4,200 staff work at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan — about 1,200 are American citizens.
“We intend to continue that enduring partnership with the people of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan,” Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said. “So this shouldn’t be read as any sort of message to the Taliban.”
But as the U.S. prepares toby the end of this month, this latest move is sure to embolden the Taliban even more.
In the city of Farah, a video appeared to show insurgents dragging the dead body of an Afghan security force member, shouting, “God is great.”
Many are coming to Kabul seeking safety. They’ve left behind their homes, their belongings, and even loved ones, killed in the fighting.