As Taliban fighters retook the Afghan capital of Kabul in a lightning offensive earlier this month, insurgents supplied to permit the US to carry town — and senior leaders turned it down, in line with a brand new report.
On Aug. 15, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation as Taliban forces made their approach into the capital metropolis. When stories of gangs shifting onto the streets emerged, senior US army leaders in Doha, Qatar, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s political chief, organized an in-person assembly, in line with the Washington Publish, which cited a US official.
On the assembly, Baradar reportedly mentioned, “We’ve got an issue. We’ve got two choices to cope with it: You [the United States military] take accountability for securing Kabul or it’s important to permit us to do it.”
Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, head of US Central Command, was reportedly part of the assembly and informed Baradar that the US’ mission was to evacuate Americans, Afghan allies and all others in danger. The Biden administration’s plan to withdraw US troops by Aug. 31 was nonetheless to maneuver ahead. By Sunday night, the Taliban had taken management of Kabul.
In response to the report, an understanding took place that the Taliban would management town and the US would have management of the airport by means of the withdrawal deadline. The Taliban have mentioned they may think about that date a “pink line,” and that there shall be “penalties” if the withdrawal goes previous the top of August.
Insurgents reportedly weren’t planning on taking Kabul that day, and have been stunned to see the dearth of troopers and police within the metropolis.
Muhammad Nasir Haqqani, a Taliban commander, allegedly obtained a message on his telephone saying that “authorities has left all of their ministries; it’s important to enter town to stop additional dysfunction and defend public property and companies from chaos.”
Haqqani and his forces then entered town gates and reached the palace by late afternoon.
“We couldn’t management our feelings, we have been so completely happy,” he mentioned. “Most of our fighters have been crying. We by no means thought we might take Kabul so shortly.”
Because the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the US has been scrambling to evacuate as many People and Afghan allies as doable earlier than Tuesday.
US troops have evacuated roughly 116,700 individuals since Aug. 14, together with 1,200 inside the 24 hours ending Monday morning. 5 thousand 5 hundred Americans have been evacuated thus far and Biden administration officers consider round 300 stay within the nation.
The evacuation efforts have been briefly paused Thursday when a suicide bomb assault occurred close to the Kabul airport, killing 13 US army personnel and practically 200 Afghans. Evacuation flights resumed Friday morning.
ISIS-Ok, the group also referred to as the Islamic State Khorasan, took credit score for the lethal bombing. In retaliation, the US launched an airstrike Saturday on people allegedly concerned within the assault, allegedly killing two individuals with ties to the Islamic State and injuring one other.
The identical day, President Biden warned that one other assault could possibly be imminent — inside the subsequent 24 to 48 hours.