WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Another province capital was taken over in Afghanistan, and the Taliban continues its rapid movement toward the capital city of Kabul as the U.S tries to get personnel out.
“Given the situation on the ground, this is a prudent step, a prudent reduction in our civilian workforce,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
The State Department and Pentagon announced 3,000 troops will aid in the evacuation of Americans and diplomats.
“This is a temporary mission with a narrow focus,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan and a major hub for U.S military operations, fell into Taliban hands. The state department says the U.S embassy in Kabul will remain open for now.
“We’ll continue to engage in diplomacy with the Afghan government,” Price said.
“But we definitely need the support that we require,” said Afghan Ambassador to the U.S Adela Raz..
Raz says the Afghan people have not given up the fight, and urges the U.S to drop the peace talks and focus on striking back against the Taliban.
“I’m not for war, I grew up in war, I lost my relatives, I don’t want it, but it’s a hard time,” Raz said.
U.S. intelligence estimates Kabul could face Taliban pressure by September and the whole country could fall under insurgent control in a few months.