Taliban Closes in on Kabul, US Begins Evacuations

The Taliban has captured Jalalabad and has managed to surround Kabul from north, south, and west, forcing the US to evacuate the embassy immediately.

Jalalabad was captured early on Sunday morning right after Mazar-i-Sharif was taken from the control of former Vice President and warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and another warlord, Atta Mohammad Noor. 

The Taliban has already shared footage of them entering the Jalalabad governor’s office and ransacking Dostum’s residence on social media. 

Currently, refugees from the captured provinces are fleeing into Kabul while the city is suffering from mass power outages. 

Unnamed US officials have told Reuters that evacuations have already begun while some US citizens and diplomatic staff have made it to the airport.

“We have a small batch of people leaving now as we speak, a majority of the staff are ready to leave…the embassy continues to function,” said one official. 

Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service agents and security engineers would remain to ensure that all sensitive documents and materials including US imagery would be properly destroyed. 

US President Joe Biden warned Taliban officials in Qatar that any threat towards US personnel “will be met with a swift and strong US military response.”

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