US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday said the United States should start conducting airstrikes against the Taliban and provide support to Afghan forces to stop the group from taking over the Afghan capital amid the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
“It is not too late to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul. The Administration should move quickly to hammer Taliban advances with air strikes, provide critical support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) defending the capital, and prevent the seemingly imminent fall of the city,” McConnell said in a statement.
“If they fail to do so, the security threat to the United States will assuredly grow and the humanitarian cost to innocent Afghans will be catastrophic,” he warned.
McConnell added that he had spoken with the Afghanistan ambassador to the US, saying they had “an urgent conversation” regarding “the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the unfolding humanitarian crisis.”
Republicans have in recent days ramped up their criticism of US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops as conditions in Afghanistan have been rapidly deteriorating amid the Taliban’s recent gains.
Taliban has taken over at least 17 provincial capitals in the last eight days, including Kandahar and Herat.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday asked the Taliban to immediately end its offensive and said seizing power through military forces is a losing proposition.
He said that it is particularly horrifying and heartbreaking to see reports of the hard-won rights of Afghan girls and women being ripped away from them.
“I am also deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists,” Guterres said.