How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The headlines of major news outlets as the Taliban take control of Afghanistan

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Web Desk
An Afghan soldier stands in a military vehicle on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters
An Afghan soldier stands in a military vehicle on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

The fall of Kabul, marking the final chapter of America's longest war, ruled the front and home pages of almost all major international media news outlets' websites and newspapers Monday morning.

It’s been an extraordinarily dramatic 24 hours in Afghanistan.

The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over after the insurgents took control of the presidential palace in Kabul as U.S.-led forces departed and Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate thousands of their citizens.

The Pentagon authorised another 1,000 troops to help evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghans who worked for them from Kabul as the U.S. government said it would assume air traffic control to facilitate the departure of thousands of Americans.

Majority of the news outlets focused the news reports on the Taliban's capture of Afghanistan's capital and the collapse of the country's government and used pictures of Taliban fighters in the presidential palace and military helicopters airlifting westerners to safety.

Here are some visuals on how the international media covered the fall of Kabul:

The Daily Telegraph called Taliban's capture of Afghanistan a "lightning takeover" less than two weeks after seizing their first city in an offensive to recapture territory lost in the Allied invasion of 2001.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The news piece published by the Financial Times said "tumultuous scenes were reported at Kabul airport" as "panicked city residents" sought to fly out of Afghanistan and the US embassy warned of a deteriorating security situation. 

"Taliban's entry into Kabul was the culmination of an offensive in which the Islamist group often met little armed resistance," the publication wrote.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The i,  a British national morning paper published in London by Daily Mail, featured a picture of Taliban members on the full length of the front page, with the headline "Taliban rule returns to Afghanistan".  

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The Guardian described the capture as a "dramatic" day. 

The Taliban entered Kabul "not as fighters, but as policemen" after looting broke out when the surrender of government forces appeared inevitable, according to the Guardian.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

Taliban's takeover was referred by The Metro as a "humiliating echo" of the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The Times said Afghanistan is "now braced for a full-scale return to Taliban rule". 

Senior Taliban leaders had told the publication they will accept nothing less than "absolute power".

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

"Escape from Kabul" was The Sun's headline. The paper said thousands of Britons were being airlifted out of the capital Sunday night after the UK and US sped up their escape plans.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The Daily Express' headline focused not on the fall of Kabul, but the fleeing of the Britons from the country.

The publication warned of "dark days" ahead for women.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

The Daily Mail, too, focused on British soldiers instead of the fall of Kabul, with a headline, "What the hell did they all die for?" alongside a photograph of the funeral of one of the 457 British service personnel killed in Afghanistan.

How international media covered the fall of Kabul

You can get updates on the Afghan war here.