The Taliban announced this Sunday that they have not yet made a final decision on their entry into the Afghan capital, Kabul, on a day that The evacuation of the personnel of the United States Embassy has begun in the city.
“We are going to make our decision on Kabul later and separately,” the usual spokesman for the insurgents, Zabihulá Mujahid, explained to DPA after official US sources on condition of anonymity informed the ‘New York Times’ that the United States special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has asked the Taliban not to enter the capital until the United States completes the evacuations.
Khalilzad, according to media sources, hopes to convince Taliban leaders that the embassy must remain open and secure if the group hopes to receive US financial aid and other assistance as part of a future Afghan government.
“People have to be clear that we do not want a state of war in Kabul or, God forbid, that no one is injured,” said the Taliban spokesman.
Beginning of evacuation
Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Kabul this Sunday announced the beginning of the evacuation process for its diplomatic personnel shortly after the Taliban insurgency took control of the city of Jalalabad until turning the Afghan capital into the only major city under the control of the Afghan authorities.
“Based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military and intelligence teams, the President of the United States has authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 American troops to ensure an orderly and safe reduction of the United States Embassy and other allied personnel,” he said. let the Embassy know on its Twitter account.
Based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military, & intelligence teams, @POTUS has authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 U.S. troops to ensure an orderly & safe drawdown of U.S. Embassy & other allied personnel
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) August 15, 2021
Afghan media have already reported the appearance of American helicopters in the sky of the capital to begin with the displacements, which will also include Afghans “who assisted the mission and those who are at special risk from the advances of the Taliban.”
Currently the Embassy maintains more than 1,400 employees but the exact number that will remain there after the end of the evacuation is unknown. The United States hopes to maintain a “critical presence” in the Afghan capital to facilitate more exits and maintain direct communication with the Afghan government, according to the State Department spokesman Ned Price.
The Embassy has also reported that the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has spoken in the last hours with him President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, “To discuss the current security situation, as well as urgent diplomatic and political efforts to reduce violence.”
Meanwhile, the Taliban continue to complete their great offensive. Two other incursions into the city of Jalalabad have been added in recent hours. Jost, capital of the province of the same name, and Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital of Maidan Wardak. The Taliban also say they have conquered the city of Nili in Daikundi province.
With these conquests the Taliban they would be in command of approximately 26 of the 34 provincial capitals of the country, according to the count of the Afghan media, after a brilliant advance that occurred in just over a week, and taking advantage of the final withdrawal of international forces.