“There will be no transitional government in Afghanistan” said two Afghan officials to Reuters as the Taliban announced it has taken control of the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul on Sunday, 15 August.
The war-torn country seems to be on the brink of losing control to the Taliban, who on Sunday, reportedly entered the outskirts of Kabul and have been instructed to stay at its periphery. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly left the country for Tajikistan.
Earlier, on Sunday, the Taliban surrounded Kabul and stated that it has no plans to topple the capital forcefully.
Quoting Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, TOLO News reported that in order to prevent looting and chaos, some of the Taliban forces will enter parts of Kabul and occupy outposts that have been evacuated by security forces.
The report further states that Mujahid has requested people to not panic from the Taliban's entrance into the city.
Earlier on Sunday, according to an Associated Press report, Taliban fighters were spotted in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh, and Paghman in the capital.
The Taliban was reported to have taken over Jalalabad city, reportedly without any resistance. The group now controls all major Afghan cities except for Kabul.
Meanwhile, as per TOLO news, acting Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said that Kabul will not be attacked and that the transition would happen peacefully.
The minister also assured residents that security forces will ensure the security of the city.
Biden Pledges to Send More Troops to Afghanistan to Assist Evacuation of American Forces
United States President Joe Biden has now pledged to send more troops to Afghanistan to withdraw American forces, reported news agency AFP, on Sunday. He also reportedly warned Taliban that any action "that puts US personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong US military response."
This comes after Biden, on Saturday, doubled down on his resolve to retract US forces from Afghanistan despite Taliban’s rapid advances, as pointed out by AFP. The announcement also followed Taliban’s capture of the main northern holdout city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Biden has said that 'approximately 5,000' US soldiers will now assist in organising evacuations and end the US mission after two decades in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, AFP reported that an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan has been planned.
'My Focus is to Prevent Further Instability': Afghanistan President Ghani
Meanwhile, on Saturday, in a pre-recorded address, President Ashraf Ghani said, "I assure you that as your president, my focus is to prevent further instability, violence, and displacement of the people."
“To do this, I have started widespread consultations within and outside the government, with political leaders and international partners and I will soon share the results with the people," he added.