US Embassy urges Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately

By Mychael Schnell  | The Hill |

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The U.S. Embassy in Kabul is urging all Americans to leave Afghanistan “immediately,” as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate due to advances made by the Taliban in key provinces amid the U.S.’s troop withdrawal.

The embassy urged all U.S. citizens to vacate the country “using available commercial flight options.” It said its ability to assist Americans in Afghanistan is “extremely limited” because of the security conditions and reduced staffing.

The embassy is offering repatriation loans to citizens who cannot afford to purchase an airline ticket.

The notice comes days after the embassy issued a similar security alert on Saturday urging U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately.

The Taliban has seized a number of key provincial capitals in Afghanistan in recent days as the U.S. and NATO inch closer to completing their military withdrawals from the country. The U.S. is set to complete its withdrawal by Aug. 31, according to President Biden.

The White House initially set Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that led to America’s longest war, as the target date for all troops to be pulled from the region, but moved that deadline up last month.

The insurgent group captured the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan over the weekend, with a total of six provincial capitals being claimed as of Monday.

The country is now reporting an increase in civilian deaths and targeted killings of senior Afghan officials.

U.S. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad traveled to Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, where the Taliban has a political office established, to “help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan,” according to the State Department.

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