“That’s it. It’s over.”
Those are the words attributed to a U.S. official as Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, reportedly for Tajikistan, Sunday.
BREAKING: Afghan President Ghani has fled the country. “That’s it. It’s over,” U.S. official says— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 15, 2021
President Ghani's departure as the Taliban entered Kabul overnight follows a number of other government officials who were spotted at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul awaiting flights out of their country.
A source at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul tells CNN a number of high-ranking Afghan officials, including some of President Ashraf Ghani’s advisers, have arrived and are waiting for a flight out. It's not clear where they're going.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 15, 2021
Ghani's decision to flee the country was followed by reports that the Taliban will move deeper into Kabul as fighters capture the Afghan capital, completing a mission that US intel predicted as recently as this week would take at least one month.
#UPDATE The Taliban were on the brink of total victory in #Afghanistan on Sunday, their fighters ordered to wait on the outskirts of the capital #Kabul and the country's interior minister conceding the government was preparing for a "transfer of power" https://t.co/neQxjo8bzB pic.twitter.com/XyFbYqKdhw— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 15, 2021
Biden in July: No, a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is not inevitable. pic.twitter.com/veJNSrIUCM— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 11, 2021
Now, the Taliban say they will set up an interim government in Afghanistan for what they characterize as a “peaceful transition” of power despite reports of potential war crimes being perpetrated against surrendering Afghan security forces during the Taliban's bloody offensive.
BREAKING — The Afghan president Ghani is relinquishing power and an interim government led by Taliban is formed — Al Arabiya— Ragip Soylu (@ragipsoylu) August 15, 2021
In the wake of President Ghani's decision to flee Afghanistan, the U.S. Ambassador is reportedly exiting as well as armed Taliban fighters roam the streets of Kabul.
The Taliban entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul, an interior ministry official said, as the U.S. evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter. Earlier, the insurgents captured the city of Jalalabad without a fight https://t.co/CkbOEYDLXF pic.twitter.com/8NCFc1sY7W— Reuters (@Reuters) August 15, 2021
Saw dozens of Taliban on streets of kabul, some in new Afghan security vehicles. I suspect over the next several hours/overnight many many more will be coming.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 15, 2021
The fate of the U.S. Embassy is soon to be in the Taliban's hands as they complete their takeover. As Katie reported, "many analysts believe it will be burned down on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks."