The entire country of Afghanistan could fall into the hands of Taliban soldiers as soon as 30-days after Islamic radicals captured three more major provincial capitals today.
As insurgents press a lightning offensive now gradually encircling the capital city of Kabul, the Biden administration has been forced to rush 3,000 U.S. troops to help evacuate the U.S. embassy.
"As we have said all along, the increased tempo of the Taliban military engagement and the resulting increase in violence and instability across Afghanistan is of grave concern," said Ned Price, explaining why the State Department is rushing those troops to Kabul airport to help evacuate Americans at the embassy. The announcement comes after President Biden originally denied any possibility of a government takeover from the Taliban.
In a major shift of power, Taliban forces captured the country's second and third largest cities Thursday, Kandahar and Herat. Hours later, Lashkar Gah, where hundreds of U.S. troops lost their lives while trying to rebuild the region, is now a trophy for war insurgents.
So far, 13 of the country's 34 provincial capitals are now under Taliban control. The radical Islamic group now commands the entire North while battling Afghan soldiers over shrinking territory in the South and West.
The Biden administration is negotiating with Taliban leaders to spare the embassy, saying it must remain open and secure if the group hopes to receive American financial aid and other assistance. The President refused to comment on the situation Thursday.
The Taliban's re-energized war is leaving behind a looming humanitarian crisis, uprooting an expected 300,000 families with no place to call home. In an effort to support Afghan supporters of the U.S., 1,200 allied Afghan refugees have already been brought to the U.S. with visas. The government expects to help thousands more.
"Additional flights will begin landing daily and you're going to see the total number grow very quickly in the coming days and coming weeks," Price said.
The U.S. embassy remains open with plans to continue operating with a core diplomatic presence.