As a result of the Taliban’s extremely rapid takeover of Afghanistan, officials in the U.S. have seemingly completely abandoned the embassy situated in Kabul.
Within the next 72 hours, the U.S. seeks to evacuate hundreds of officials and other personnel from the embassy as the staff attempts to burn or otherwise destroy any sensitive documents and ready the embassy for its abandonment to the Taliban in light of the current takeover.
“The withdrawal of embassy personnel marks a rapid acceleration of the process that had only been announced on Thursday, and is a situation that many State Department security officials expected would have to happen given the speed with which the Taliban has gained territory in Afghanistan in recent days,” reported CNN.
“Most of the American diplomats will go to the airport in Kabul, the capital, and then fly back to the US,” stated the news outlet. “A small number of core personnel, including the top US diplomat in the country, will remain at the Kabul airport for now, the sources said. This means that the US Embassy in Kabul will be shuttered — at least for the time being — by Tuesday.”
Previously, the U.S. had tried to plan to evacuate most of the personnel from the embassy while leaving a small group of special dignitaries in place. However, this entire plan was scrapped after the Taliban advanced through Afghanistan in a rush that caused the fall of a series of major Afghan cities within just a few days. The Taliban also took control of a former U.S. military base at Bagram Air Base. The airbase had been handed over to the former government of Afghanistan this past month as the U.S. worked towards extricating itself from the country. As reported by The Daily Wire:
The Taliban took control of Bagram Air Base on Sunday, a former American airbase that the U.S turned over to the Afghanistan government last month.
The Taliban have reportedly released thousands of prisoners that were held at Bagram, including members of al Qaeda, the terror group that carried out the 9-11 attacks and prompted the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Bagram was under control of the U.S. military for roughly two decades before leaving it in control of the Afghan military in July as the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan.
“The Taliban claims it overran Bagram Air Base and freed prisoners. Many high-value detainees were located there, including members of Al Qaeda. This will reverberate for years to come,” said Bill Roggio, Long War Journal editor, and terror analyst.