As of 16 August 2021, the Taliban control most of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, but have not yet announced a government. U.S. security personnel have completely evacuated U.S. Embassy personnel from Kabul, but evacuations of Afghan citizens who assisted the U.S.-led NATO mission are ongoing. To secure the evacuations, the U.S. military assumed control of Hamid Karzai International Airport (OAKB/KBL) and set up a security perimeter around the facility. Crowds rushed the tarmac even as U.S. soldiers fired shots into the air in an attempt to prevent them from entering. At least five people were killed at the airport, although the details surrounding their deaths remain unknown. The Afghan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) canceled all commercial flights due to the volatile situation at the airport and reported that the civilian side of the airport was closed. The ACAA also issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), advising all transiting aircraft to avoid Afghan airspace due to lack of control.

On 15 August, President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan as Taliban militants occupied Kabul – the final remaining major Afghan city under government control — without resistance from government security forces. Taliban militants seized control of the presidential palace hours after Ghani’s departure and Taliban officials vowed not to interfere with ongoing NATO-led evacuation efforts at Hamid Karzai International Airport. Following Ghani’s departure, former President Hamid Karzai announced the formation of a Coordinating Council of Afghan political leaders to negotiate a peaceful transfer of power with Taliban leaders. Karzai did not provide further details regarding the negotiations taking place in Kabul and Qatar.

Denmark, Norway, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have closed their embassies in Kabul, while France moved its embassy to Hamid Karzai International Airport in order to continue processing visas for people seeking to leave the country. Reports indicate the British ambassador also remained at the airport to process visa applications. German and Czech authorities are evacuating their citizens from Kabul, and Emirates airline officials have announced an indefinite suspension of flights to Afghanistan.

The militants directly control 22 of the country’s 34 provinces and at least 270 of its 407 districts. However, given the capitulation of the Afghan government, the remaining districts are likely to be brought under Taliban control within the coming days or weeks.