Washington: Most of the US Embassy personnel will be evacuated from Kabul in the next 36 hours, as the Taliban (a terrorist group banned in Russia) advance toward the Afghan capital, making major territorial gains, the CBS News reported on Sunday, citing security and diplomatic sources.
Security engineers, special agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service as well as senior diplomats, including the ambassador himself, will stay behind to destroy all sensitive data storage devices.
All the diplomatic personnel will be entirely evacuated by August 31, the sources told CBS News.
According to a US defense official, it is a matter of days before the Taliban take control of Kabul.
On Saturday, President Joe Biden authorized the deployment of up to 5,000 US troops to ensure the safe evacuation of the country’s embassy staffers in Afghanistan.
Earlier in the day, The Taliban captured Jalalabad, the capital city of the Nangarhar province and one of the biggest cities in the country. Kabul now remains the only big city in Afghanistan controlled by an internationally recognized government.
Afghanistan is seeing a spike in violence as the Taliban have stepped up their offensive after international troops started a gradual withdrawal from the country, scheduled to be completed by September 11. The pullout was stipulated in the agreement the Taliban and the United States signed in Doha in February 2020.
According to Iran’s IRIB broadcaster, the Taliban control 90% of Afghanistan.