The United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, said ongoing reports of potential war crimes carried out by the Taliban are “deeply disturbing.”
“We’re hearing additional reports of #Taliban executions of surrendering Afghan troops,” the Embassy tweeted Thursday morning. “Deeply disturbing & could constitute war crimes.”
We’re hearing additional reports of #Taliban executions of surrendering Afghan troops. Deeply disturbing & could constitute war crimes.
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) August 12, 2021
The Taliban has increasingly taken more control of Afghanistan by force as American troops have almost entirely withdrawn from the country in recent months. The militant group has reportedly been executing Afghan military prisoners, media members and government officials as it blazes a path toward Kabul.
The U.S. Embassy previously released a statement last Saturday condemning the Taliban seizure of cities in the country, claiming the military advancements are “unacceptable and contradict its claim to support a negotiated settlement in the Doha peace process.” Thursday, the Embassy issued a security alert to all American citizens in Afghanistan, urging them to leave the country as soon as possible on available commercial flights.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with regional leaders in Doha, Qatar, to plead with the Taliban to halt their offensive and pursue a peace process.
The Islamic militants will isolate themselves internationally if they take power purely by force, the State Department argued in a statement. While in Doha, Khalilzad was on a mission to ensure there would be a “commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force” by the international community. (RELATED: Afghanistan President Blames US Troop Withdrawal For Worsening Security Amid Taliban Gains)
It is widely expected that the Biden administration will complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of August, although the official deadline is Sep. 11. The U.S. withdrawal had originally been planned to finish by May of this year, according to a deal agreed to by former President Donald Trump and the Taliban, crafted by Khalilzad, but Biden delayed the withdrawal upon taking office.
Most experts agree the most likely outcome is a Taliban takeover of the country within the near future once the U.S. withdrawal is complete. The Biden administration has been scrambling to evacuate Afghanis who aided the U.S. military before that happens.