Over the past few days, Afghanistan has plummeted into utter chaos after US troops withdrew from the area, which, in turn, has allowed the Taliban to gain control. The situation continues to get worse as the extremist group has now seized control of the capital, Kabul, hoping for a "peaceful transition of power." Amid this dire crisis, it has been reported that the president has left his people as he has fled to the neighboring country of Uzbekistan.
There have been multiple casualties as the war with the Taliban rages on but yesterday, 5 more people were killed at Hamad Karzai airport as they tried to board planes filled with US troops in the hopes that they could also flee the country. However, these troops fired shots "in the air" to prevent hundreds of civilians from running onto the tarmac. Witnesses have said that they're not sure if the 5 people killed were killed by bullet shots or a stampede.
Other Afghans were seen running after a military C-17 down the runway as it took off.
Right now, all commercial flights have been grounded and priority has been given to military troops as well as nationals from other countries as they try and get away from one of the biggest humanitarian crises the world has seen in the modern era. There is no way for Afghan nationals to flee as the Taliban have stated only Westerners can leave the area and that citizens should return home where they "will not be harmed."
On the contrary to the group's promise, people are scared, not only that they will be hurt, but also because they fear the work the country's been doing to allow societal progress over the past twenty years will be undone in a matter of weeks, maybe even days.
The Taliban are a group that operates with archaic ideals, especially in regards to women's rights. Afghan women will now not be able to leave the house, and if they do, they must be escorted by a male figure while also be covered by a full niqab and burka. The hopes of work and education are bleak as the country regressed back decades due to the Taliban regaining control.
Farzana Kochai, a member of the Afghan government, told the BBC that the people were visibly frightened: "I don't know how to measure the [threat], fear that they have in their hearts, every one of them. They face a situation they can't believe is happening and they think: 'Where [do] we go, what to do?'
"Everyone is facing [the same] and here they think 'we might lose our lives' right just now because no-one is in charge of what's happening."
President Biden has remained primarily silent on the issue which could impact his as well as the US' global reputation. By ending America's longest conflict, it has undone 2 decades' worth of work and sacrifice and has now resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe.
However, Biden did blame his predecessor for the situation unfolding, stating that a deal confirmed by Donald Trump left the Taliban "in the strongest position militarily since 2001."
Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany are working to try and aid the conflict, with Angela Merkel adding that they are trying to get Germans as well as Afghans who have been left extremely vulnerable out of the area immediately.
Boris Johnson has also spoken on the issue saying Western countries must not recognize the Tailban as the governing state of Afghanistan: "We don't want anybody bilaterally recognizing the Taliban," he said. "We want a united position amongst all the like-minded, as far as we can get one, so that we do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror."
He also added that the US' choice to withdraw from the area has sped up this crisis: "It's very clear from what I said the situation in Afghanistan was going to change.
"It's fair to say the US decision to pull out has accelerated things. But we've known for a long time that this was the way things were going."
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.