The United States and Germany advised their nationals in Afghanistan to avoid going to the Kabul Airport on the grounds that nearly a week after the Taliban took control, thousands of people gathered to try to flee the country, posing a security risk.
The situation outside Hamid Karzai International Airport has been chaotic, as people hoping to flee the Taliban to take over the country flocked in a week ago.
“Due to the potential security threats outside the gates of Kabul Airport, we recommend that American citizens avoid going to the airport at this time and avoid the airport gates unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative,” a U.S. official said. The embassy adviser said on Saturday.
The German embassy also advised local citizens not to go to the airport, and warned in an email that the Taliban were tightening control over the airport.
The warning did not provide detailed information about the danger, but White House officials confirmed late Saturday that aides had briefed U.S. President Joe Biden on “counter-terrorism operations” in Afghanistan, including those directed at ISIL armed groups. “Action against Terrorism”.
“This morning, the President met with his national security team… They discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism operations, including ISIS-K,” a White House official said.
The Islamic State branch of Afghanistan, known as the Islamic State of Khorasan (IS-K or ISIS-K), has been in a state of retreat since it suffered heavy losses in 2019, but it still has the ability to launch devastation in urban areas including Kabul Assault.
A Taliban official said in an interview with Reuters that security risks cannot be ruled out, but that the organization “is aimed at improving the situation and providing a smooth evacuation for those trying to leave over the weekend.”
The Taliban are still trying to finalize New government The organization’s co-founder Mullah Baradar arrived in Kabul on Saturday for talks with other leaders.
The group’s Lightning forward With the withdrawal of the U.S.-led army, which coincided with the “shocking collapse” of the Afghan army described by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, it sparked fear of retaliation and returned to the Taliban. Strict Islamic law enforced. It came to power 20 years ago.
Due to airport chaos, Switzerland postponed charter flights from Kabul.
“The security situation around Kabul Airport has deteriorated significantly in the past few hours. There are many people in front of the airport, and sometimes violent clashes occur, which prevents people from entering the airport,” the Swiss Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday. .
Senior American officials said on Saturday that the United States had evacuated 2,500 Americans from Kabul in the past week, adding that Washington was fighting “time and space” to evacuate people from Afghanistan.
Major General William Taylor and the U.S. Military Joint Staff said at a Pentagon briefing that 3,800 people had been evacuated from Kabul via U.S. troops and chartered flights in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people evacuated from the current mission to 17,000.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he did not have a “perfect number” to account for the number of Americans staying in the country.
EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell told AFP that the withdrawal of tens of thousands of Afghan personnel and their families by the United States and its allies before the August 31 deadline is “mathematically impossible”.
Borel added in a telephone interview in Spain that “we have complained to the Americans” that their security measures at Kabul’s airport are too strict, hindering attempts by Afghans working for Europeans to enter.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi from the Taliban Cultural Council acknowledged that Kabul Airport is still a flashpoint, but told Al Jazeera that the chaos there was a problem caused by the United States in anxious to evacuate thousands of people.
“I think it is very unfortunate for people to rush to the airport the way they are now… We have announced an amnesty for everyone in the security forces from senior to junior. This fear, this hysteria that is happening is There is no basis,” he said.
Barki said negotiations to form a new government included discussions on whether the capital should stay in Kabul or move to Kandahar, the birthplace of the organization.
“Consultation is ongoing, of course this will be an inclusive system, but I don’t know who will enter the government and who will not enter the government,” he said.
The delay in forming a new government or even announcing who will lead the new Taliban government highlights the movement’s lack of preparation for the sudden collapse of Western-trained troops that have been fighting for years.
Barki said that the Taliban leaders did not initially intend to enter Kabul.
“Things are developing so fast that everyone is surprised. When we entered Kabul and had no plans, we initially announced that we did not want to enter Kabul. We hoped to reach a political solution and establish a united and inclusive government before entering Kabul. ,”He said.
“But what happened was that the security forces left, abandoning their positions, and we were forced to ask our forces to enter and take over security.”
The Taliban’s general leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada, has been silent in public so far. It must also unite the different groups in the movement, because they have won, and the interests of these groups may not always be Is consistent.
Since regaining power, the Taliban have been trying to show a more moderate face, saying that it wants peace and will respect women’s rights within the framework of Islamic law.
During their administration from 1996 to 2001, according to their interpretation of Sharia law, they prevented women from working or going out without wearing a full-length burqa, and prevented girls from going to school.
According to reports, the Taliban have attacked houses, cleared and harassed members of the government and civil society in recent days.
It denied these claims, but said it was investigating criminal cases.
“Our priority is to observe discipline in our own team, not to enforce the law on others, but to enforce the law on ourselves first, and then to set an example for the rest of society, so… if our members participate in such things, They will be the first to be prosecuted,” Barki said.