U.S. evacuates Afghan embassy staff as Taliban seize Kandahar and Herat

U.S. evacuates Afghan embassy staff as Taliban seize Kandahar and Herat
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13 August 2021
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In Afghanistan, the Taliban has seized control of Kandahar and Herat, the country’s second- and third-largest cities.  Taliban forces have also overrun Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province in the south.  It’s one of 17 provincial capitals now under Taliban control.

The Taliban accelerated its sweeping offensive last week as the United States was pulling out its troops after nearly 20 years in Afghanistan.  On Thursday, the Biden administration announced it is sending 3,000 extra troops to Kabul to help evacuate embassy staff.  

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Thursday: “We expect to draw down to a core diplomatic presence in Afghanistan in the coming weeks.  In order to facilitate this reduction, the Department of Defense will temporarily deploy additional personnel to Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

Aid groups are warning of a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as tens of thousands flee their homes to escape the Taliban.  Meanwhile, the Afghan government has reportedly offered a power-sharing proposal to the Taliban.

 

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