The U.S. military will help evacuate Americans from the embassy in Kabul as the security situation deteriorates across Afghanistan, two officials confirmed Thursday to Fox News.
The plans to evacuate the Americans were briefed to President Biden earlier Thursday in order to get his approval, one official added. The military will evacuate “thousands” of American citizens Afghan interpreters from Kabul.
“Things are moving,” one official said.
TALIBAN CLAIMS CONTROL OVER PRISONS IN 2 CHIEF AFGHANISTAN CITIES
The U.S. embassy will remain open for now but will be reduced to a “small staff.”
President Biden in April pushed back former President Donald Trump’s deadline for a U.S. military withdrawal from May to Sept. 11. The withdrawal began in May; by early July, the situation was rapidly deteriorating: The Pentagon on July 9 detailed “concerning advancement” by the Taliban in the wake of the withdrawal.
AFGHAN AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR CONTINUED US AIR STRIKES AMID FEARS TALIBAN WILL SOON CAPTURE KABUL
Two weeks later, the Pentagon said the withdrawal was about 95% finished while admitting the Taliban appeared to have “strategic momentum.”
Earlier today, Afghanistan’s third largest city, Herat, located on the border with Iran, fell to the Taliban. The Taliban have also claimed to have seized Kandahar City, the country’s second largest the Taliban’s spiritual home.
With no U.S. military forces on the ground very little assets overhead, the Pentagon cannot confirm Kandahar has fallen but officials acknowledge “it doesn’t look good.”
PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: SECURITY SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN ‘DETERIORATING’
U.S. military officers at the Pentagon tell Fox the images of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan are “demoralizing.”
“This is all melting down in a short period of time,” one U.S. military officer described what is happening right now in Afghanistan.
While the capital of Kabul itself has not been directly threatened in the advance, the stunning speed of the offensive raises questions about how long the Afghan government can maintain control of the slivers of the country it has left.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The government may eventually be forced to pull back to defend the capital just a few other cities, as the fighting displaces thousands of people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.