THE Taliban have taken over Jalalabad right now and are set to storm Kabul as UK troops put together for a firefight to evacuate Brits from Afghanistan.

A authorities official mentioned the important thing japanese metropolis was taken by the Taliban early this morning and the fanatics at the moment are on the outskirts of the capital.

AP

A Chinook helicopter flies over the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan[/caption]

EPA

An Afghan safety official stands guard at test level in Jalalabad[/caption]

Over 4,000 UK nationals waited for a last-ditch airlift by UK troops as Taliban fighters moved to inside seven miles of Afghan capital Kabul

The native governor mentioned surrendering Jalalabad was “the one option to save civilian lives”.

The town is 80 miles from the Afghan capital Kabul – the final main metropolis not underneath Taliban management.

It comes after Taliban fighters moved to inside seven miles of Kabul yesterday as UK troops confronted a race towards time to evacuate Brits from the war-torn nation.

Greater than 4,000 determined UK nationals waited for a last-ditch airlift.

Whitehall insiders final evening revealed a plan was being drawn as much as function a 770-mile navy “shuttle” service to achieve the haven of Dubai if industrial airways change into unviable.

The deployments of 600 troops, together with members of 16 Air Assault Brigade, started this weekend as a part of Operation Pitting, which goals to relocate Brits and Afghans dealing with Taliban reprisals for serving to our forces.

Former Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood referred to as for the UK Service Strike Group, together with HMS Queen Elizabeth, to help the operation with “the formidable air energy our F35 stealth fighters supply”.

However final evening it emerged that Britain is to desert its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan as senior authorities sources mentioned ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow and employees will be a part of the evacuation.

British troops have been warned they could possibly be drawn into face-to-face preventing with the Taliban.

They have been briefed a couple of sequence of threats starting from roadside bombs to suicide bombers and drone assaults. SAS troopers will hyperlink up with interpreters to safe native intelligence and be briefed by particular forces colleagues and MI6 brokers already based mostly in Kabul.


Commanders wish to keep away from preventing however the Paras are deploying with grenade launchers and shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons. They face the problem of securing the airhead base at Kabul airport and ensuring desperate-to-leave Afghans can not get entry to the evacuating plane.

However a significant concern for the mission — formally termed Non Combatant Evacuation Operation — is the dearth of aviation gas on the airfield, which might hamper the tempo of the airlift.

As well as, there have been fears that the Taliban will fireplace on the airport utilizing the most recent US 155mm heavy artillery — which was seized from the Afghan military as they superior throughout the nation.

Radar to trace and hint any in-direct Taliban fireplace similar to mortars, rockets and artillery can even be deployed. However one Whitehall supply advised The Sunday Instances that the airport “is not going to maintain for various days”.

Deployment from the UK and three,000 US troops got here as one Afghan official revealed fighters have reached the Char Asyab district seven miles from the capital.

Officers in Logar province had been detained after it had been taken. Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, and the nation’s fourth largest metropolis fell final evening.

It’s chaotic right here, there is no such thing as a hope left. We will count on Kabul to fall very simply inside days.


Hamidullah Abawi

And Laghman province, north east of Kabul, additionally fell final evening with out a combat. Unverified video footage additionally appeared to point out the Taliban flag being flown in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, 150 miles east of Kabul.

One official revealed the governor’s workplace, police HQ and native jail have been in enemy fingers in Sharan, Paktika province, south of the capital. President Ashraf Ghani mentioned the “remobilisation” of the nation’s safety and defence forces was “our prime precedence”, in a televised tackle.

His focus was on “stopping additional instability, violence and displacement of my folks” because the Taliban maintain half of 34 provincial capitals and two-thirds of the nation. Excessive-level discussions have been going down with native leaders and worldwide companions over the insurgency, with the US set to take away all its troops by the 20-year anniversary of the September 11 assaults in New York.

In the meantime, Afghan Hamidullah Abawi advised The Solar on Sunday that refugees have been swelling Kabul. The training charity employee mentioned: “It’s chaotic right here, there is no such thing as a hope left. We will count on Kabul to fall very simply inside days. Persons are dashing to take their cash out of the banks.”

PM Boris Johnson dominated out a “navy or fight answer” to the scenario in Afghanistan, saying he would work with allies to forestall the nation turning into a “breeding floor” for terror. He added the scenario was the “inevitable logical consequence” of the choice by President Joe Biden’s administration to take away forces.

Donald Trump first agreed with the Taliban in February final yr for the US to withdraw from the nation. However Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer mentioned yesterday: “Now we have obligations to Afghanistan, we made guarantees to Afghanistan.

There’s a actual threat worldwide terrorism will take maintain once more in Afghanistan.


Sir Keir Starmer

“We will’t stroll away and let this flip right into a humanitarian disaster, and possibly a refugee disaster as properly. There’s a actual threat worldwide terrorism will take maintain once more in Afghanistan.”

In the meantime, former Head of the Military Lord Dannatt mentioned: “What about mounting a humanitarian operation in Kabul to take care of among the refugees, to construct some camps, usher in some humanitarian provides?”

“Let’s present the Afghan authorities we’re not utterly abandoning them.”

THROTTLE THE THREAT

By Michael Fallon

WHO can overlook the autumn of Saigon? The determined battle to board these final helicopters from the US Embassy roof.

Are we about to see comparable scenes in Kabul in a couple of weeks’ time?

Britain wouldn’t be sending within the Paras if we weren’t now getting ready for the sudden collapse of the Afghan forces within the face of the Taliban.

Forces that we, the US and Nato educated, geared up and financed for 20 years. Forces that at the moment are out of the blue left preventing for his or her lives. It’s all the time simple responsible the People. Sure, President Trump’s impetuous determination to drag out gave the Taliban the one-sided peace deal they wished.

However this was a Nato mission too: Our 30-nation alliance failed to remain the course. In the long run, we noticed the reality of that outdated Taliban taunt, “You might need the watch however we’ve got the time.”

Some 457 British lives have been misplaced, a whole lot extra of our troops critically wounded. However their sacrifice, and the bravery of greater than 100,000 British servicemen and ladies who deployed there, did assist to forestall Western-oriented terrorism after the 9/11 assaults. For 20 years they saved the Taliban and al-Qaeda at bay, giving tens of millions of Afghans the suitable to decide on their authorities, and Afghan ladies the suitable to a correct training.

But it surely wasn’t sufficient. We stopped fight operations seven years in the past. However I used to be struck from my first go to as Defence Secretary, greater than a dozen years after our troops went in, that it nonetheless wasn’t secure to drive the street from the airport to our embassy compound.

Rockets as soon as landed subsequent door throughout my dinner with the US navy. Western troops ended up defending one another. On each go to I actually noticed indicators of hope: powerful Afghan particular forces, dynamic feminine MPs, an enormous effort to deepen civic society and construct new establishments past the outdated tribal loyalties.

However there have been different failings too – endemic corruption all through the federal government, highly effective warlords cashing in on ever greater poppy harvests, porous borders and malevolent neighbours unwilling to sort out the terrorism on their very own doorstep.

The most important classes, nevertheless, are for us. Tackling terrorism shouldn’t be non-obligatory for the West. If we wish to protect our freedoms, we should be able to combat for them. If new terror teams threaten our cities and lifestyle, then we’ve got to assist throttle them at supply.

If fragile democracies ask for our assist, as Iraq did dealing with the Daesh loss of life cult in 2014, then we should reply. Why? As a result of we’ve got the air energy, know-how, intelligence and counter-terrorism strategies.

But additionally as a result of our values – the suitable to stay peacefully, to have the ability to throw out dangerous governments, the suitable of women to full education – should not simply Western values. They belong to all of us, even these within the remotest valley of Helmand province.

It’s not simply Trump and Biden who’ve ducked out. Nato – our Nato – left an excessive amount of of the marketing campaign to the US. We shouldn’t be so dependent. Seven years in the past, Nato agreed to spend extra on defence and safety, a minimal of two per cent of GDP, but solely 10 (together with Britain) of the 30 members meet that concentrate on right now.

However Paris, London, Berlin and Brussels have been terrorist targets as a lot as New York. Neither the Taliban nor al- Qaeda have disavowed their fanaticism or their hatred of the West generally.

No phrases can compensate for the loss of life of a cherished one. However for the households of these 457 British servicemen and ladies, we should do higher subsequent time.

AFP

An Afghan policeman speaks to a commuter at a checkpoint alongside the street in Kabul on August 14, 2021[/caption]

AFP

A member of the Afghan safety drive sits alongside the roadside in Panjshir province on August 14[/caption]

Reuters

Taliban forces patrol a road in Herat, Afghanistan August 14, 2021[/caption]