On Saturday, the Taliban captured Mazar-i-Sharif, a major city in northern Afghanistan. According to reports, Afghan forces fled without firing a shot.

The sitting Afghan government and the Afghan National Army (ANA) are appearing close to collapse as Taliban forces are edging ever closer to Kabul.

Meanwhile, Western countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, and the Czech Republic are sending troops back into the country to evacuate their citizens and diplomats from the capital.

Mazar-i-Sharif is Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city and was heavily defended. Afzal Hadid, the head of the Balkh provincial council, said that “all security forces have left Mazar city.” 

Two warlords had pledged to defend the city along with the army. Nevertheless, Hadid added that the city appears to have fallen without a fight, and after only small clashes in the surrounding areas. He told Al Jazeera that the soldiers abandoned their equipment and ran for the border. 

Reuters posted a video showing Afghans filling the roads of Mazar-i-Sharif as they are attempting to flee the city. In the distance, men are raising what appears to be the white flag of the Taliban. The dominos of Afghanistan are quickly falling one after another.

Afghan Special Operator
An Afghan special operator stands watch as Afghan Special Security Forces raid Taliban compounds in Baraki Barak district, Logar province, October 11, 2018. (Photo by Spc. Casey Dinnison/NATO)

Earlier, facing little resistance, the Taliban took Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, according to an anonymous local provincial council member. Pul-e-Alam is only 40 miles south of Kabul and is considered the gateway to Afghanistan’s capital. 

The Taliban also claim that they are close to capturing Maidan Shahr, another town close to Kabul.