With the deadline for the American withdrawal from Afghanistan looming in just four short days, Taliban fighters are moving to take full control of the airport, according to unconfirmed media reports. At this pace, it looks like the airport will be under complete Taliban control by tomorrow.
There are reports indicating that Taliban forces have entered the military part of Kabul Airport.— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) August 27, 2021
Trying to confirm it with the Coalition.
Taliban will be in full control of Kabul Airport including military part by tomorrow, sources at the airport tell me.— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) August 27, 2021
Still needs official confirmation.
Additionally, there are reports that Taliban special forces units - "many of whom are using stolen American military hardware" - are now trying to secure the airport following yesterday's attack.
There are reports that Taliban special forces units--many of whom are using stolen American military hardware--are now attempting to secure Kabul Airport following yesterday's bombing attack. pic.twitter.com/RHvpQW5T5n— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) August 27, 2021
What's more, it looks like no more Afghans will be allowed to depart the country until Aug. 31. The BBC reported that this is "devastating news for those who had already got their approvals for the EVAC flights."
Aid organisations/media have been now told that NO Afghans are flying anymore until 31st August, the deadline for US withdrawal.— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) August 27, 2021
“The Taliban are checking all flights. It's just military and foreign citizens & those already Inside the airport.”
This is a devastating news for those who had already got their approvals for the EVAC flights…And of course a heartbreaking development for all those who were working hard to help Afghan evacuees— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) August 27, 2021
As western media outlets struggled to confirm reports about the Taliban's airport takeover, a top Taliban spokesman said "Victorious Taliban fighters entered inside the airport victoriously."
Additionally, families who lost loved ones during yesterday's attack are scrambling from hospital to hospital, desperately searching for their loved ones, Reuters.
Al Jazeera English: "Families of Kabul airport bombing victims scramble for news" https://t.co/6GNtLJCO1J— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) August 27, 2021
In other news, UK PM Boris Johnson said Friday that he would do whatever he could to help any people in Afghanistan who are eligible for resettlement: "we come down to the final hours of the operation, there will also be people who haven't got through, people who might qualify (for resettlement). What I say to them is that we will shift heaven and earth to help them, we will do whatever we can," Reuters reports.
He added that "if [the Taliban] want to have engagement with the West, if they want to have a relationship with us, then safe passage for those (people) is absolutely paramount."
Finally, the NYT reports that the Taliban has continued its hunt for officials who served in the US-backed Afghan government.