15 Surreal, Heartbreaking, And Haunting Photos Of The Fall Of Afghanistan That Will Be Shown In History Classes One Day

With the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and war on terror drawing near, President Joe Biden stayed in line with his goal of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. However, this departure, coupled with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s move to flee the country, was duly followed by the Taliban’s entry into Kabul, the nation’s capital.

Picture Alliance / dpa Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Members of the Taliban were photographed inside the presidential palace and, though they say they entered Kabul to provide security, the group is known for its brutality, including the use of executions; the removal of women and girls from public spaces and school; and bans on media via telephones, videos, and music.

Taliban fighters have entered Afghanistan’s presidential palace hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country — in pictures https://t.co/fqqlySOdKy

06:59 PM – 15 Aug 2021

Twitter: @AJEnglish / Via Twitter: @AJEnglish


In an attempt to escape after the country fell to the Taliban, Afghans flooded the Kabul International Airport’s tarmac.


Crowds of people filled the passenger boarding bridges, climbing atop of planes as they sought escape.

Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images


Some even hung onto the sides of US military aircrafts as they attempted to take off.


At least one man who’d clung to a plane fell to his death as the aircraft departed.


In one plane, the US Air Force was able to transport about 640 Afghan citizens from the Hamid Karzai International Airport, but many others Afghan allies who’d aided the US military were left behind.

Capt. Chris Herbert / US Air Force via AP / Defense One / Via dvidshub.net


US soldiers continue to stand guard inside the Kabul International Airport as many more attempt to flee.


Elsewhere in the city, a beauty salon worker was seen painting over photos of women outside of their establishment.

Under previous Taliban rule, women were punished if they did not cover their faces, and they had to be accompanied by male relatives when leaving home.


It can be assumed that by painting over and tearing down advertisements featuring women, Afghan business owners are hoping to avoid conflict with the Taliban.


Stateside, President Joe Biden, who was at Camp David over the weekend, met virtually with his national security team and senior officials for a briefing on Afghanistan.

The White House / AP

The president had previously said he “trust[ed] the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more … competent in terms of conducting war.”


By Sunday night, the Taliban had installed itself in the presidential palace from which President Ghani had fled hours earlier.


The Washington Post reported that the collapse of the Afghan military began with illicit deals between the Taliban and government officials and accelerated due to mass desertions. Here, Taliban fighters stand beside the belongings of Afghan security soldiers in Kabul.

Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images


Members of the group are patrolling the streets and urging government staff to return to work as they move to restart city life.

Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images


All across the world, the fall of Afghanistan is leading headlines.

Aamir Qureshi / AFP via Getty Images


Afghan children are demonstrating near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point, waving their nation’s flag and holding signs that read, “We say no to Taliban,” as they are ushered back into their country.

Manolis Lagoutaris / AFP via Getty Images


And finally, around the world, there’s anger, shock, and protests.

John Macdougall / AFP via Getty Images

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