Taliban gains territory in northern Afghanistan as US forces withdraw

U.S.

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Withdrawal from Afghanistan is now more than 90% complete, according to the U.S. military, with the U.S. departing Bagram Airfield last week.

The Department of Defense has not said exactly how many U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan or where they are, only that they are very close to full withdrawal.

Afghans said the U.S. left overnight without warning.

“Finally by seven o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” said Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, the new commander of the airfield.

The Pentagon on Tuesday denied that saying they were alerted but the exact hour was not given for security reasons.

The U.S. is getting out weeks ahead of President Joe Biden’s deadline of Sept. 11.

The U.S. is leaving behind civilian cars — reportedly without keys — as well as energy drinks, food, small weapons and even musical instruments. Some markets in Kabul are now selling items left behind by American forces.

As America draws down troops, the Taliban is rapidly gaining ground.

The Taliban reportedly controls nearly half of the districts in Afghanistan getting closer to the capital of Kabul. As the Taliban advances, nearly 1,000 Afghan soldiers have been fleeing to the neighboring country of Tajikistan.

However, Afghan officials said Tuesday those troops are returning.

“There are people coming out ready to recruit, ready to join the forces to defend their country throughout,” Afghan national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, said.

With the Taliban overrunning many cities in the north, countries like Turkey and Russia are closing their consulates in the region. On Monday, Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki tried to reassure the Afghan government that the U.S. won’t completely abandon the capital.

“We have every intention of continuing an ongoing presence in Kabul,” she said. “We will also continue to be partners to the Afghan government…that includes security assistance, that includes humanitarian assistance.”

Some U.S. troops are expected to remain in Afghanistan for any counterterrorism operations that arise, to help secure the airport in Kabul and to secure the U.S. embassy.

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