Taliban takes control in Afghanistan

16 August 2021

Written by: Jordan McCarthy

Scott Morrison says "no soldier died in vain" in regard to Australia's involvement in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has claimed victory and control of Afghanistan 0vernight, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaking out this morning about Australia’s 20-year involvement in the country.

The Prime Minister claimed that no Australian soldier has “ever died in vain” and that our efforts weren’t a waste of resources or lives.

“Freedom is always worth it, fighting for it, whatever the outcome,” he told ABC’s News Breakfast. 

“But importantly, the reason that we went there was to track down Osama Bin Laden and ensure that we denied al-Qaeda a base of operations out of Afghanistan.”

The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan is set to be discussed at a National Cabinet meeting today, with the evacuation of Afghan nationals who helped Australian soldiers and the opening of more slots for Afghan nationals in Australia’s humanitarian program expected to be deliberated.

Morrison had to remain tight-lipped in regard to the cabinet meeting, however.

“I can’t go into detail on what is there for the safety of those involved,” he said.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne is also expected to have talk’s with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the latest developments in the country at some stage later today.

Sunday saw Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flee the country, ceding the capital of Kabul to the Taliban and all but leaving them in control, with the Taliban claiming that “the war is over”.

“We have reached what we were seeking, the freedom of our country and the independence of our people,” a Taliban spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

President Ghani admitting defeat via a Facebook post after the Taliban seized control of 26 of the countries 34 provincial states in little over a week.

“Taliban have won the judgement of sword and guns and now they are responsible for protecting the countrymen’s honour, wealth and self-esteem,” he wrote.

Three Afghani government officials, Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Sha National compromise, Jihadi leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and former president Hamid Karzai, remained behind to “handover” control of the presidential palace to the Taliban.

Abdullah Abdullah saying in a video posted on Facebook that President Ghani had effectively abandoned his people.

“The former Afghan President has left the nation, leaving the people to this situation,” he said.

“God hold him accountable and the people have their judgement,”

Kabul was the final key city to fall in the Taliban’s campaign after taking control of Jalalabad and Mazari-i-Sharif last Sunday. The Taliban claiming that foreign-led forces won’t “repeat their failed experience in Afghanistan again”.

It has been 20 years since the Taliban was toppled in Afghanistan after US-led forces seized the country in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Photo: Shiloette of person standing on a hill by Mohammad Rahmani is available HERE and used under a creative commons licence. The image has not been modified.