Amid the spiraling disintegration of security across Afghanistan, Kabul may fall to the Taliban’s hands far sooner than previously suggested, US intelligence report says as quoted by The Washington Post.
As Taliban militants are retaking ground from Afghan government forces in the wake of the American military departure from Afghanistan, seizing at least seven provincial capitals, current situation has prompted intelligence services to change the dire intelligence assessment made in June that Kabul could fall in Taliban’s hands within six to 12 months of the US and NATO forces‘ departure
The updated prognosis based on US military assessment is that the collapse could occur within anything from a month to 90 days with a source familiar with the new assessment saying that everything is moving in the wrong direction.
It comes as Taliban seized the capitals of northeast provinces Badakhshan and Baghlan and of western province Farah after previously capturing six other provincial capitals, including Kunduz in Kunduz province though Kabul hasn’t been directly threatened in the current advance.
Meanwhile, unauthenticated video footage shows that Taliban have allegedly have seized the army headquarters at Kunduz airport with Afghan government officials confirming that militants are thus bringing to an end its campaign in the region.
Hundreds of soldiers, police and members of the resistance forces stationed at the airport had allegedly surrendered to the Taliban with all their equipment earlier on Wednesday, an Afghan official said.
The success of the Taliban blitz has also added urgency to the issue of whether the US government should keep its Embassy in Kabul open with two sources cited by CNN saying that State Department’s in active discussions about pulling personnel from the diplomatic mission with a partial drawdown of staff likely in the coming days or weeks.
The embassy already reduced the number of diplomats in Kabul and issued security alert for all American citizens in Afghanistan to leave the country as soon as possible amid the volatile security situation.
According to unnamed Pentagon official, military planners have been aware for some time now that evacuation of US diplomats and other personnel from Afghanistan might be required on short notice.