As the Taliban continues to make rapid gains in Afghanistan, the United States on Saturday asked its citizens to immediately leave the war-torn country. The US embassy in Kabul said in a statement that its ability to assist Americans in Afghanistan is extremely limited given the security conditions and reduced staffing in the wake of increasing violence and threat reports.
The militants of the Islamist fundamentalist group have surrounded several Afghan cities and taken control of a provincial capital. On Friday, the Taliban fighters shot dead the head of the Afghan government’s media information centre near a mosque in Kabul.
“The US Embassy urges US citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options,” the embassy said amid the worsening situation.
The US Embassy further stated that it can provide a repatriation loan to its nationals who cannot afford to purchase a ticket for a commercial flight to the United States. The US state department has maintained the travel advisory for Afghanistan at Level 4, the highest of all, owing to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Domestic flights and ground transportation routes outside of Kabul are severely limited and subject to cancellation or closure,” the US embassy added.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told a media briefing Friday that the Biden administration is “closely tracking” and is “concerned about” the reports of atrocities and retaliatory killings of civilians in Taliban-controlled areas. Psaki, however, stressed that the US will complete its troops’ withdrawal.
“The President made clear: After 20 years at war, it’s time for American troops to come home. And as he said at the time, the status quo was not an option. The Taliban was prepared to attack US and Nato troops after May 1st, which was the deadline for our departure,” she added.
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