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Taliban's Afghanistan Takeover — a Timeline


Members of Taliban forces keep watch at a check point in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 17, 2021.

The Taliban swept through Afghanistan, taking most of its 34 Afghan provincial capitals in about nine days. The insurgent group reached Kabul early Sunday.

Here is the latest:

August 17 – The Taliban vow to respect women's rights "within Islamic law" and form an "inclusive Islamic" government. They also announce general "amnesty" and urge people to return to work.

August 17 — Flights resume Tuesday at Kabul's international airport after crowds Monday forced pause in evacuations of diplomats and civilians.

August 17 — India evacuates Kabul Embassy, sending 140 personnel on flight home Tuesday.

August 16 — In a nationally televised speech from the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden says he stands "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, adding that "American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

August 16 — Thousands of civilians gather at Kabul's international airport, where U.S. soldiers fire warning shots as people seeking to escape the Taliban run across the tarmac. Video from the airport shared on social media show Afghans clinging to the sides of a U.S. military aircraft, while another video shows what appears to be a person falling from a U.S. military plane after takeoff.

August 15 — More than 60 countries call for all parties in Afghanistan to allow any Afghans or foreign nationals to leave the country if they wish to do so.

August 15 — Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a deputy chief and co-founder of the Taliban, says late Sunday, "I am here to announce that we are responsible for your lives and all that pertain to everyday living, and to convince you that we will provide everything to make your lives better."

August 15 — Top members of the Taliban military commission arrive at the presidential palace in Kabul as Taliban fighters position themselves at key posts in the city. A Taliban spokesman confirms that they have been directed to guard security posts and other installations in Kabul to "prevent chaos and looting after Afghan forces abandoned them."

August 15 — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issues a statement confirming that he, along with his vice president and other senior officials, has fled the country "to prevent bloodshed."

August 15 — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. is evacuating its remaining staff at its embassy in Kabul.

August 15 — The Taliban reach Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, saying they are awaiting a peaceful transfer of power. Earlier, they took over Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province.

August 15 — Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says fighters have taken control of Bagram Airfield and the Parwan prison there and freed its inmates. There were about 5,000 high-value Taliban prisoners at Bagram, which served as the main base for the U.S.-led foreign military mission in Afghanistan.

August 14 — As Taliban insurgents draw closer to the Afghan capital, U.S. President Joe Biden authorizes another 1,000 troops — in addition to the 3,000 ordered earlier in the week — to assist in the evacuation of U.S. personnel and other allies from Kabul.

August 14 — Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, falls to the Taliban after fierce fighting. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announces in a formal statement that they have fully captured the country's fourth-largest city, located on the border with Uzbekistan.

August 14 — President Ashraf Ghani delivers a televised address, saying rapid consultations are underway to end the fighting, and calls for revitalization of armed forces.

August 14 — The Taliban seize control of Asadabad, capital of eastern province of Kunar, Saturday afternoon.

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