Live Updates

August 17, 2021, Afghanistan-Taliban news

03:41 - Source: CNN
Clarissa Ward to Pentagon: I'm the one who has to look our allies in the eyes

What you need to know

  • With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, most countries are evacuating their citizens and shutting their embassies temporarily.
  • The fate of many Afghan people who worked with foreign governments remains uncertain. The Taliban has promised “amnesty,” but details are still unclear.
  • President Biden has spoken with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson — his first known call with a foreign counterpart since the fall of Kabul.
  • CNN has compiled a list of organizations working to help Afghan refugees. Find out more here.

Our live coverage of the situation in Afghanistan has moved here.


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26 people have arrived in the UAE from Afghanistan on an Australian Air Force flight

An Australian evacuation flight retrieving people from Afghanistan arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

There were 26 people onboard the Royal Australian Air Force C-130 including Australian citizens, Afghan nationals with visas and one foreign official working in an international agency, Morrison added.

“I can confirm that security situation at the airport has improved and more broadly across Kabul and that is supported particularly by the presence of US and UK troops on the ground being able to take control of the airport. It still, though, remains an incredibly challenging environment in which to operate,” the Prime Minister said.

This is the first of an undisclosed number of Australian evacuation flights.

On Monday, the Australian military said it will be deploying more than 250 personnel “to support urgent Australian Government efforts to evacuate Australian citizens and visa holders from Afghanistan.”

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect that the flight landed in the UAE.

A former translator said the Taliban killed his brother in 2014


Srosh, a former translator and interpreter for the US military in Afghanistan, came to the United States as refugee six years ago. His family remains in his country of birth, but Srosh still works in the United States.

Srosh said the Taliban shot his brother in the face in 2014, in a case of mistaken identity – the terror group thought they had killed Srosh. The Taliban recently burned down his home.

Srosh shared his story with CNN’s Don Lemon. Watch it here:

Former translator for US forces in Afghanistan says, "I feel like we were abandoned"


Sam used to be an Afghan interpreter for the US military. He helped American troops because he thought it would help his home country and because he was promised protection.

Though Sam is now an American citizen and living in the United States, his family remains in Afghanistan. With the Taliban’s takeover, he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo he’s worried about their safety.

Though the Taliban has promised “amnesty” to others after its takeover, details are unclear – and Sam does not believe the terror group will keep its word.

Sam is not his real name. The man requested CNN use a pseudonym to protect his family, who face possible “retribution” now that the Taliban has taken control.

He said getting help has been a logistical nightmare.

“Whoever I am calling to get help for this matter, nobody answers. I keep sending emails to different people, nobody responds to me back. And I don’t know what to do. I even reached out to my senator here, and they referred me to these links with lawyers and all that, but it’s hard, and it takes years to get them out of the country. But right now, time is running out,” he said.

Watch Sam’s interview with Cuomo here: