Events in Afghanistan continue at a rapid pace: The U.S. Department of Defense announced tonight (Thursday) that about 3,000 U.S. troops will be sent to Kabul in the next two days to evacuate the U.S. embassy in the capital, with Taliban forces continuing to seize strategic areas and being only about 120 kilometers from the city.
The State Department has announced that the army will send troops to assist in the evacuation of embassy staff in Kabul, although the withdrawal from the country is expected to end this month. CNN quoted government officials as saying that one possibility was that the diplomatic mission would operate from the city’s international airport.
White House National Security Council staff have been holding urgent meetings since this morning to discuss developments in Afghanistan, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also spoke with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Taliban forces capture another city in Afghanistan and advance toward Kabul (Photo: Reuters)
On the ground, the Taliban continue to record significant achievements and they already hold 11 of the 34 provincial capitals. Today they took control of the city of Kharat, the third largest in the country, after capturing the police station after a long battle.
They also apprehended Ghazani, who is about 120 kilometers from Kabul, after the provincial governor, Daoud Lagmani, handed them over control after secret talks. Following this, the Interior Ministry announced that Lagmani had been arrested.
A Taliban spokesman claimed that the movement had also taken control of the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, the second largest city in the country considered the Taliban cradle, and that they had hoisted the organization’s flag in the main square. However, there is still no official confirmation of the announcement and it is said that the fighting in the area continues.