In August, Taliban forces took control of virtually all of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of United States military forces. Chaos and violence impeded the evacuation of many at-risk Afghans at Kabul’s airport. Since taking over, the Taliban have allowed only small numbers to depart the country. Taliban forces in several provinces have carried out reprisals, including summary executions of some former officials and security force personnel. The Taliban have conducted raids on the homes of journalists, activists, and human rights defenders. Security forces have used excessive force to break up protests in several cities. Taliban authorities have also increasingly restricted the rights of women and girls, as they did in areas they previously controlled. Authorities have fired all women from leadership posts in the civil service, announced restrictions allowing only boys to attend schools from grade 6 and above, and banned coeducation, which will, for practical reasons, obstruct many girls and women from receiving an education.

The conflict through August resulted in thousands of civilian casualties, including from targeted Taliban and Islamic State attacks and US and former government airstrikes. Fighting and drought have caused increases in displacement, overwhelming humanitarian efforts. The country’s economic system and health and education sectors are near total collapse.