Daily Evacuation Brief | July 19, 2022
LAST 24 HOURS
Today US Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that I-360s will no longer be required for SIV applications beginning on July 20. This is expected to take about a month off of application processing times. A few other data points were also released:
There are 74,274 principal applicants currently in the SIV process. This excludes spouses and children.
Of these 74,274 cases, only 10,096 principal applicants have received chief of mission approval so far.
The National Visa Center (NVC) is currently working on SIV cases submitted prior to September 5, 2021. All SIV applicants who applied prior to this date should have been contacted by the Department of State (DOS) and received a case number. See our Evac Corner post for more tips and updates on the SIV visa process.
Several limited home searches were conducted in Kabul’s Police District 5 and 6 by the Ministry of the Interior and police. No arrests were reported, and local sources claimed the Taliban personnel were more deferential than in previous searches. Apparently, the Taliban were looking for ethnic Arabs. Presumably, the searches were conducted to try and find potential ISIS-K operatives.
The Guardian reported that Taliban officials in the Ministry of Finance have told the female employees they would no longer have positions there and to “send their men” to work in their place.
House-to-house searches in Samangan Province reportedly resulted in the arrest of 25 men whose disposition and whereabouts are currently unknown. No further information was available.
The UN Human Rights envoy who recently visited Afghanistan delivered a startling report detailing the circumstances of his visit. He claimed the Haqqani Network followed him wherever he went and intimidated those who might have been willing to talk to him about abuses. Furthermore, they denied his request to travel to Panjshir, saying that there were security concerns while also claiming that nothing important was happening there.
The fighting in Baghlan over the past 48 hours is being characterized as the bloodiest since the Resistance began major combat operations in the spring. The Taliban sent some of their top commanders (Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Fazil, Army Chief Qari Fasihuddin, etc.) to lead the recent assaults. The majority of the fighting took place in the Qasan Valley where Taliban forces attacked from multiple fronts and used air support extensively. At least 20 dead Taliban were photographed at a holding point, but many of the bodies were reputedly left in the mountains due to heavy enfilade fire from Resistance forces. The Taliban attempted to insert fighters by air above the NRF positions but were ultimately unsuccessful in dislodging them from their bases. NRF casualty numbers have not been made available to the Afghan Digest at this time, but observers believe they suffered several dead and wounded. Sources on both sides claimed the strongholds held and remain in NRF hands. More fighting is expected over the coming week. There are scattered reports that the NRF has been reinforced by fighters from the National Liberation Front. We are waiting for verification of this development.
The Central Bank plans to auction another installment of $12 million USD to bolster the Afghani.
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake was reported on Monday night in eastern Khost Province. No casualties or damage from the event has been reported yet.
NEXT 24 HOURS
Baghlan Province is expected to see more fighting in and around Qasan, Dara Jar, Kasa Tarash, Dih Salah, and the Banu district. Local eyewitnesses say that travel by roads has become too dangerous as the Taliban reposition their forces and their vehicles travel at dangerous speeds. At-risk Afghans are advised to avoid the area for the coming week.
SPOTLIGHT WOMEN’S HEALTH
By Lynzy Billing – UNDARK
In April 2021, Anita was lying on a stained bed in the women’s room of the psychiatric ward in Herat Regional Hospital, a government-run facility in western Afghanistan. Stiff and covered in sweat, the 20-year-old was unresponsive. It was 8 a.m. and all eight beds in the ward were occupied. Unconscious patients, shrouded in cloth, lay in the dappled morning sunlight, tended to by anxious relatives.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister, in a meeting with Dato Haji Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman, special adviser to Malaysia's foreign minister, discussed…
By Media Out Reach
Asian University for Women (AUW), based in Chittagong, Bangladesh, offered hundreds of new scholarships for Afghan women who are eligible and qualified for admission to AUW's…
By Zuhal Ahad – The Guardian
The Taliban have asked women working at Afghanistan’s finance ministry to send a male relative to do their job a year after female public-sector workers…
By Khaleeq Kiani – Dawn
A Pakistani delegation is paying a 3-day (July 18-20) visit to Kabul for negotiations with the interim Afghan government for…
By Ayaz Gul – VOA
Afghanistan’s cash-strapped Taliban government has tripled prices for coal in less than a month to raise revenue from its mining sector amid a lack of direct foreign funding and…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Aline Barros – VOA
U.S. officials announced Monday a change to the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process for Afghans in which applicants will need to file only one form…
Biden and Mohammed bin Salman voiced support for addressing the needs and advancing Afghan people’s rights, especially the rights of women and…
THE DAILY WTF
By Saqalain Eqbal – Khaama Press
According to local sources in the province of Ghazni in southeast Afghanistan, a resident of Ghazni’s Jaghatu district died in agony from…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 87.97 AFN (as of 19 JUL 2022)