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US goes for a full embassy withdrawal as the Taliban close in on Kabul

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The US embassy premises in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 3. (AP photo)

The United States is reportedly removing all of its staff from the embassy in Kabul in the next 72 hours and closing the embassy as the Taliban appear to capture the seat of the central government.

American sources who are privy to the matter told CNN on Sunday the embassy's staff will go to the Kabul airport to travel back to the United States as the Taliban close in on Kabul.

The sources added that only a small number of the staff will stay at the Kabul airport. This means that the American embassy in Afghanistan would be closed by Tuesday.

US diplomats were evacuated from the embassy by chopper after a lightning advance by the Taliban militants, who entered Kabul on Sunday and said they expected to take power within days. The group saying that they are waiting for a peaceful transfer of power.

A senior Afghan interior ministry official told ReutersTaliban fighters were reaching the capital "from all sides.”

The Taliban are reportedly poised to run Afghanistan again 20 years after they were removed from power by American forces following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States,

The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it will evacuate all but a “core” staff from the American Embassy in Kabul. But at the end it was forced to remove the entire staff.

Earlier, the US embassy in Kabul directed its staff to destroy sensitive documents and computers as well as other material that could be used against the United States, according to American media outlets.

The directive was given in a memo written for staff at the US embassy in Kabul and shared with NPR on the condition of anonymity.

The memo called on diplomats to destroy computers and other sensitive documents before they leave, as well as items featuring the American flag, embassy logos, and other articles that "could be misused in propaganda efforts," CNN reported.

The Pentagon announced this week it was deploying 3,000 American troops to Afghanistan to evacuate most of the embassy personnel from Kabul, leaving only "a core diplomatic presence" in the country.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden announced that he was sending 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan to assist in evacuating U.S. personnel.

Biden claimed that his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan did not have bearing on the Taliban's swift takeover of much of the country.

“Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in US history,” Biden said in a statement. "One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country."

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and removed the Taliban from power. American forces occupied the country for about 20 years on the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the US forces are leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban are set to invade Kabul, weakened by foreign occupation.

The Taliban on Friday solidified its sweep through Afghanistan’s north, south, and west weeks before the official end of the US military occupation of the country. The Taliban now control most of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals and about two-thirds of the country as a whole.


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