September 21, 2021

Headlines for August 24, 2021

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Leaders of the G7 group of wealthy nations are meeting virtually today to discuss the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, where they’re expected to ask President Biden to extend the U.S. troop presence in Kabul past the August 31 deadline for withdrawal. On Monday, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News that the U.S. would “face consequences” if its troops remained in Afghanistan into September.

Suhail Shaheen: “President Biden announced this agreement that ’til 31st of August they would withdraw all their military forces. So, if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation.”

Thousands of people remain camped outside of Kabul’s airport in an increasingly desperate bid to fly to safety. The White House says the U.S. has evacuated more than 58,000 people since the Taliban swept into Kabul on August 14.
On Monday, the United Nations’ top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, cited credible reports of serious human rights violations committed by the Taliban: summary executions of civilians and Afghan soldiers who had surrendered, and severe restrictions on women and girls.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports CIA Director William Burns held a secret meeting in Kabul Monday with the Taliban’s de facto leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar. It was reportedly the highest-level face-to-face meeting between the Taliban and the Biden administration since the Taliban takeover.