אפגניסטן נופלת בידי הטאליבן REUTERS

The Taliban captured the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan on Saturday and had forces on the outskirts of the capital city of Kabul as of Sunday.

With the capture of Mazar-e-Sharif, the Taliban has seized control of all of northern Afghanistan. In addition, the strategically important city of Jalalabad fell to the Taliban without a fight on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Taliban denied that the organization's forces had entered the capital, stating that that "Taliban fighters are instructed to stay at the gates of Kabul and not enter the city. Until the transition takes place , the Afghan government is responsible for the security of Kabul.

The terrorist organization has been steadily advancing in recent weeks, capturing the capitals of numerous Afghani provinces ahead of the withdrawal of US military forces from the country in three weeks. The Taliban is now in control of 24 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

American diplomatic staff have begun to evacuate the embassy in Kabul, with extra troops being deployed to protect the embassy and the airport in Kabul during the evacuation.

A US intelligence report released last week estimated that Kabul could hold out for about three months before it would fall to the Taliban.

The US routed the Taliban from power nearly 20 years ago following the terrorist attacks of September 1, 2001, and has maintained a military presence in Afghanistan ever since.

US President Joe Biden has faced domestic criticism for surrendering all of the America's military achievements over the last two decades and allowing the Taliban to return to power unopposed by refusing to reconsider his plan to withdraw all US forces from the country.

On Saturday, Biden stated that "an endless American presence in the middle of another country's civil conflict was not acceptable to me."