Hundreds of Afghan government soldiers have fled the Taliban since Saturday to neighboring Tajikistan. In the northern Afghan province of Badashgan, the Taliban took control of at least ten districts this weekend, most without a fight.
Many Afghan soldiers have fled to the provincial capital, Faizabad, but the fall of that city also appears imminent. An aid worker tells German news agency DPA that everyone is trying to escape as quickly as possible.
Regional officials also fled. Morale among government forces and administrators is low, according to an officer who remains in his post. Moreover, wherever fighting takes place, the Taliban are always the majority and have better equipment.
The departure of Western soldiers and the rapid advance of the Taliban caused panic in other parts of Afghanistan for several days. Not only soldiers are fleeing, but civilians as well. Neighboring Pakistan and Tajikistan are preparing for a massive influx of refugees.
On Friday, the Americans completed the evacuation of Bagram air base, 50 kilometers north of Kabul, which has been their main base for the past 20 years. President Biden announced the departure of all Americans effective 9/11. In fact, it seemed to take days before all the Americans left, except for the hundreds of soldiers who remained to guard the embassy in Kabul.
Dutch soldiers have also been active in Afghanistan for 20 years. Overview of 20 years in exactly 4 minutes:
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