Taliban fighter in Afghanistan
Taliban fighter in AfghanistanReuters

Former CIA Director David Petraeus, who commanded US forces in Afghanistan under the Obama Administration, said that the evacuation from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover is a 'Dunkirk moment' for the US, referencing the rescue of hundreds of thousands of surrounded allied troops during the Nazi takeover of France in May, 1940.

“This is a Dunkirk moment and our decisions created it. We need to acknowledge that. And we should now act as if we do recognize the catastrophe that we have created for Afghans who supported us​,” Petraeus said in an interview with the Cipher Brief on Tuesday.

“​​We should ensure that the Taliban knows that we will not tolerate their efforts to impede the movement of individuals to get to the airport and get out of the country. And we should demonstrate that if need be. That is the only way to discharge our moral obligation to those who supported and served with us and who are now marked men and women in their own country because of that​,​” ​he said.

Taliban forces rolled into the capital of Kabul on Sunday, effectively taking control of the entire nation.

The US, which had been in the middle of withdrawing from Afghanistan, sent thousands of troops to Kabul to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport as it evacuated its diplomatic and civilian personnel.

Chaos broke out at the airport Monday as thousands of Afghanis attempted to leave the country on US military aircraft which were evacuating American diplomatic and military personnel.

Video from the airport shows thousands of desperate Afghani citizens chasing after and grabbing onto the aircraft as it moved down the runway and took off.

At least two young men who attempted to hitch a ride on the outside of the plane fell hundreds off feet onto the tarmac seconds after takeoff.

A total of seven people are believed to have been killed in the chaos at the airport.

American officials have admitted that they do not know how many Americans remain in Afghanistan at this time, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby saying the number of US civilians in Afghanistan could be anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000.

US President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in an address yesterday, stating: "We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: Get those who attacked us on September 11 and ensure Al-Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that."

“I stand squarely behind my decision” to withdraw troops from Afghanistan," Biden clarified. He added that the US will “act quickly” against terrorism in Afghanistan “if needed”.