The Taliban has reportedly taken over Bagram Air Base, which hosted thousands of US and NATO troops for nearly 20 years.
On August 15, Afghan government forces situated in the base, which is located in the central province of Parwan some 40 km to the north of the capital Kabul, surrendered to the Taliban without a fight. The surrender was confirmed by Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi.
Bagram Air Base prison, where some 5,000 captives including members of al-Qaeda are held, was also captured by the Taliban. Dozens of captives were freed by the group. Afghan sources claimed that no al-Qaeda members were released. However, this is yet to be verified.
Confirmed: Taliban broke Bagram prison and released inmates. I’m guessing these don’t include ISKP prisoners since Taliban won’t be giving them amnesty. Pro-TB sources earlier claimed that Bagram prison break took more time because ISKP inmates were being separated from others. pic.twitter.com/8HWqltA8F1
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) August 15, 2021
Taliban captured #Kabul‘s first province Bagram with any unharmed. Many Afghan Army soldiers are dropping their weapons and heading for Kabul with the Taliban. Taliban Captured Bagram Air base today Afghanistan govt fallen down. pic.twitter.com/bOWyqpYxZ7
— Malik Ali Raza (@MalikAliiRaza) August 15, 2021
— Rashid Khan (@Rashid_OfficiaI) August 15, 2021
Earlier, Taliban entered Kabul without a fight. President Ashraf Ghani has resigned. An interim government headed by former Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will reportedly be formed.
Meanwhile, the situation in Kabul Airport is chaotic to say the least. Hundreds of people, including senior Afghan officials and foreigners, are rushing to leave the country ahead of Taliban take over.
#Kabul airport- Expensive cars leaving their passengers right under the plane, no passport checks, no security checks , nothing.#Afghanistan #AfghanistanBurning #AshrafGhani #Taliban pic.twitter.com/dm9CR3PPqk
— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) August 15, 2021
Some 5,000 US troops are also working nonstop to secure the evacuation of US diplomats and citizens from the Afghan capital. US military helicopters are making rounds between the embassy and Kabul Airport.
Game over. pic.twitter.com/hvluHgr2Rg
— francesca mannocchi (@mannocchia) August 15, 2021
— Farzana Yousaf (@FoodZana) August 15, 2021
The moment Boeing CH-47 Chinook’s carrying US Embassy staff to #Kabul airport. Lowest moment in US history after Saigon, footage will haunt US for times to come … #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/sDccuWPPfC
— Awais Khan Saduzahi (@AwaisKh32943372) August 15, 2021
Turkey, who offered to guard Kabul Airport just a few weeks ago, has relocated its embassy to the airport. Ankara called on its citizens in Afghanistan to contact the embassy in order to arrange their evacuation.
It remains unclear if Turkish forces present in the airport will also withdraw. The Taliban had warned Ankara against maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan.
The Taliban promised earlier to keep Kabul Airport operating as usual. The group will likely take over the airport once the evacuation of US diplomats, citizens and troops is complete.
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