North East reacts to the Taliban's advance in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, capital of Farah province, southwest Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Afghan officials say three more provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban, putting nine out of the country’s 34 in the insurgents’ hands amid the U.S. withdrawal. The officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the capitals of Badakhshan, Baghlan and Farah provinces all fell. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, southwest Afghanistan. Credit: AP

People and organisations across our region are reacting to the news that the Taliban has rapidly taken over large swathes of Afghanistan territory over the past week.

It follows the decision from the United States to withdraw troops after 20 years of American and British presence in the country.

There are also fears that this would lead to widespread human rights abuses.

Our correspondent Rachel Bullock joins Sarah Ahmadi on the concern for women and girls who will bear the brunt of the Taliban regime.

A former military service personnel has expressed his dismay at the situation.

James Rose trained at Catterick, in North Yorkshire and left for a tour of Afghanistan in September 2009.

  • As a Veteran, how does it feel seeing Afghanistan in turmoil?

  • Do you have any ideas of how this situation might be resolved?

James Rose served in the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire regiment at Catterick. Credit: James Rose

It was only a couple of months later during his 2009 tour, on a routine patrol, where James stepped on an IED, planted by the Taliban - as a result of the blast, James suffered a broken pelvis and tail bone, as well as losing both legs above the knee. 

Ailsa Adamson, from Methodist Asylum Project in Middlesbrough, speaks about her recent experiences of providing support to refugees and those seeking asylum.

One volunteer in the North East, Sarah, speaks more about how service personnel are "frightened" about what will happen to them.

There were scenes of desperation and chaos at Kabul’s Airport earlier today - Afghan's were seen clinging to the side of a US military plane as taxied down the runway.

Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital’s airport on Monday, running alongside aircrafts and pushing onto planes in a last-minute attempt to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.

British troops are working with US forces to secure the Airport as thousands scramble to leave the county.

Following a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergencies committee, Boris Johnson said his priority was to get UK nationals and Afghans who had worked with them out of the country “as fast as we can."

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, has admitted the UK will be unable to evacuate everyone from Afghanistan who needs to leave, due to the unpredictable nature of the Taliban.

The speed of the Taliban advance suggests that there may only be a short window of a few days to get people out and, while the airport has so far not come under attack, there are fears that could change quickly with Taliban insurgents now effectively in control of the capital.

Internally displaced Afghans who fled their homes, take refuge in a public park in Kabul. Credit: Rahmat Gul/AP

In the capital, ITV News Senior International Correspondent said people in Kabul were "frightened" and said there were very few women on the streets.