State Department Asks US Nationals to Leave Afghanistan Immediately, Reportedly Urges Taliban Not to Attack Kabul Embassy

Asia & Pacific

The security situation in the war-torn country has deteriorated dramatically of late, with the Taliban overrunning nearly a dozen provincial capitals and taking control of major road arteries amid the US’ ongoing withdrawal.

The US Embassy in Afghanistan issued a security alert on Thursday urging US citizens to “leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options.”

The embassy urged those who cannot afford to purchase an airline ticket to contact the diplomatic mission. “If you are a US citizen and delaying your departure while you await an immigrant visa for a spouse or minor child, please contact us immediately.”

The mission also called on Americans still in the country to enrol in its “Smart Traveler Enrolment Programme” to receive access to security updates and allow the embassy to contact individuals in case of an emergency, including “in the event of a future official evacuation flight.”

The security alert comes amid a dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, with the Taliban capturing 11 cities, with reports that street battles are underway in Herat – Afghanistan’s third-largest city – on Thursday.

The State Department ordered a reduction of staff at the US’s Kabul Embassy in late April following President Biden’s announcement that US forces would be withdrawing from the country after more than 19 years of occupation. The State Department justified…

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