How the Taliban took back Afghanistan 20 years later

How the Taliban took back Afghanistan 20 years later

A spokesman for Islamist fighters said that "the war is over" with the capture of Kabul, former president Ghani has left the country, and as thousands of people flock to the capital's airport, evacuations of Westerners continue

The Taliban patrol Kabul (photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) On August 15th, the Taliban entered the Afghan capital Kabul and, almost without firing a shot, completed the reconquest of the country after the rapid advance of the last few days. The Taliban now control the whole of Afghanistan and this became even clearer on Sunday evening in Italy, when the images transmitted by Al Jazeera of Islamic fighters began to circulate inside the Afghan government building, while the president, Ashraf Ghani, had already left the country for a few hours to head to Uzbekistan. Until a few hours earlier, Ghani had promised that he would not give up, going so far as to declare that he would "die for his country".

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Al Jazeera that "thanks to God, the war is over ”, after the lightning conquest of the capital as well. According to reporters still present in Kabul, the streets are quiet this morning, but many embassies have not yet evacuated all their personnel out of the country.

A declaration signed by 60 countries was published yesterday, including the 'Italy, which asks to allow all people who want to leave the country to be able to do so safely. The fear is also due to the fate of many Afghans who have collaborated with the Americans and Westerners in the last twenty years, even if the Taliban had declared at first that there would be no retaliation for those who voluntarily surrendered.

We have seen - and are seen - scenes of panic in Kabul, with many people queuing in front of banks to withdraw money and traffic jams for cars heading out of the city or towards the airport. Those who could afford it and had a valid visa flew abroad within the day. Kabul International Airport continued to be stormed even late yesterday evening - it still is today - and many videos and photos show thousands of people on the runway trying to catch a flight to leave. Afghanistan. In the crowd that has generated at least three would have died, according to what the international media reported today.

Kabul airport, today.

- Aunt Shahreyar l ضیا شهریار (@ziashahreyar) August 16, 2021

Also, from what emerges at this moment, the troops Americans took control of the airport to allow safe evacuations and fired some gunshots into the air to disperse people. All commercial flights were also canceled.

The Taliban began their offensive in May when the United States began to withdraw its troops and quickly overwhelmed the Afghan army. In recent weeks the advance has become even faster and Mazar-i-Sharif, the last major city in the north, has fallen just a day before Kabul.

A week ago the Washington Pos t reported a US intelligence assessment that the Taliban could have besieged Kabul in one month and conquered it in three. But the proof of the facts took only three days.

The American withdrawal from Afghanistan was decided by former President Donald Trump after an agreement with the Taliban (the Doha agreement of February 2020) The new Head of the White House, Joe Biden, has decided to embrace this choice, confirming it: all American troops should have left Afghanistan by August 31 of this year.

That in Afghanistan was the most long fought by the United States since it intervened in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban-led government after the 9/11 airstrikes. Afghanistan was accused of providing cover for Islamist terrorism. Over the past two decades, the United States has spent $ 83 billion in Afghanistan equipping and training government forces. An effort that proved in vain within a few weeks.

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