What next, then, for the Afghans who have been able to make it out? The Defence Secretary has announced the UK will waive border rules to allow Afghan asylum seekers to flee the Taliban to Britain without a passport.
Ben Wallace said the Government wanted to make it easier for interpreters and contractors who supported Western forces to seek asylum in the UK.
The Defence Secretary broke down in tears as he admitted “some people will be left behind”.
Mr Wallace, who served in the Scots Guards, was speaking about the evacuation effort from the country which is being led by 16 Air Assault Brigade, when he was overcome with emotion.
Meanwhile, Ben Marlow analyses how the defence sector sell-off is the final nail in the coffin for UK foreign policy.
‘The Trump-Biden policy’
President Joe Biden has found himself increasingly isolated and facing criticism for “hiding” at Camp David as the Taliban advanced following the US retreat.
Mr Biden and First Lady Jill left for the presidential retreat in Maryland on Friday but it has only just been revealed that the President will return to Washington today, delivering his first comments later tonight.
Comparisons are being drawn between the rush to escape Kabul and the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, when hundreds of Vietnamese and Americans flocked to the US Embassy to be airlifted from the country.
Watch archive footage comparing 1975 to today.
Mark Almond says the Saigon parallel provides false reassurance while former US national security adviser John Bolton details why history will label the US withdrawal “the Trump-Biden policy”.
‘Imprisoned and raped’
As the Taliban cement their sweeping victories across the country by seizing Kabul, many women are afraid.
Among them is Kubra Behroz, who joined the Afghan National Army as a officer cadet in 2011, and now fears the repercussions.
She has heard stories of women being beheaded for having been policewomen four years ago and is afraid of being “kidnapped, imprisoned and raped”.
So who are the men about to take control of Afghanistan?
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is poised to become the country’s new president.
Colin Freeman profiles the man born in Uruzgan province, who fought against the Soviet occupation before becoming one of the founders of the Taliban in 1994.
Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines
Comment and analysis
Around the world: Haiti earthquake death toll surges
The death toll from Haiti’s devastating earthquake soared to nearly 1,300 on Sunday, as crews desperately dug through collapsed buildings for survivors in the Caribbean nation still reeling from its president’s assassination. In Les Cayes most of the population spent the night sleeping outdoors in front of what remained of their houses amid fears of further aftershocks. These images show the devastation.
Gentleman, spy, fantasist? The strange life of Greville Wynne