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U.S. military sending troops to help safely remove staff from embassy in Kabul

U.S. troops to help evacuate some Afghan embassy staff
U.S. troops to help evacuate some Afghan embassy staff 02:59

The U.S. military is sending thousands of troops to safely remove State Department staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The emergency move comes as a Taliban takeover of the country could be weeks, if not days away — and it's happening with alarming speed.

Taliban forces now control two-thirds of Afghanistan and its second largest city, Kandahar, has just fallen. 

Some predict the capital will come under attack within 30 days.

The U.S.-backed Afghan military has been no match for Taliban fighters who are taking advantage of the vacuum left by the U.S. troop withdrawal.

With stunning speed, Taliban fighters are sweeping across Afghanistan.

On top of Kandahar, the Taliban has also taken the third-largest city Herat, dealing another moral and strategic blow to the Afghan government.

After seizing the city of Ghazni, the Taliban is now only about 90 miles southwest of Kabul.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the entrance of the police headquarters in Ghazni on August 12, 2021. AFP via Getty Images

The group's rapid victories are overwhelming Afghan security forces, which triggered the U.S. to announce a significant staff drawdown at its embassy in the coming days.

The State Department said about 4,200 staff work at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan — about 1,200 are American citizens.

"We intend to continue that enduring partnership with the people of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan," Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said. "So this shouldn't be read as any sort of message to the Taliban."

But as the U.S. prepares to complete its military withdrawal by the end of this month, this latest move is sure to embolden the Taliban even more.

In the city of Farah, a video appeared to show insurgents dragging the dead body of an Afghan security force member, shouting, "God is great."

Elsewhere, the Taliban is showing off Humvees and weapons that they've seized from American-trained Afghan forces. The fighting has pushed hundreds of thousands of people to flee in recent months.

Many are coming to Kabul seeking safety. They've left behind their homes, their belongings, and even loved ones, killed in the fighting.

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