Taliban take Kabul – U.S. evacuates by chopper
August 15, 2021 - Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as Taliban fighters poured into the capital and sought control. At the same time, the U.S. and other foreign governments scrambled to evacuate their citizens.
In scenes reminiscent of the United States’ humiliating withdrawal from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam conflict in 1975, Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters evacuated staff from the U.S. embassy.
The fall of Jalalabad on Sunday (August 15) came just hours after the insurgents seized the northern anti-Taliban bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif.
It took the Taliban just nine days to seize control of the country as Afghan security forces -- trained and equipped by the U.S. at the cost of $83 billion since 2001 -- just melted away.
The insurgents now control one of the main highways into landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistani authorities on Sunday also closed the nearby Torkham border post, leaving Kabul airport the only way out of Afghanistan that is still in government hands.
U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has warned that America’s retreat from Afghanistan risks the nation “careening toward a massive, predictable, and preventable disaster.”