Afghanistan has dominated the news this week as foreign forces continue to retreat from the country. 

It comes following a deal between the US and the Taliban, after the Taliban pledged not to let Afghanistan become a base for terrorists who might threaten western countries. 

America will fully withdraw from the war, which has raged for twenty years and killed thousands of people, on September 11 2021, twenty years after the 9/11 terror attack. 

With the UK's former international development secretary Rory Stewart describing the withdrawal as a "betrayal" of Afghan people, what does the future hold for the country?

What's going on in Afghanistan now?

A twenty year long war between the US and Afghanistan is finally coming to an end. 

Catalysed by 9/11 in 2001, the US staged a military intervention when the Taliban, who were in power in Afghanistan at the time, refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the terror attacks. 

US troops removed the Taliban from power and promised to support democracy and eradicate the threat of terrorism. 

A new Afghan Government was formed in 2004, but the Taliban were still at large and launched frequent attacks. 

Now, the US Government has signed an agreement with the Taliban "to bring peace" to Afghanistan.

However, as US and allied troops retreat, the Taliban are quickly claiming ground and seizing cities across the country, increasing threats of a worsening civil war. 

The Taliban have now claimed control of all major cities in Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, where fighters have seized the presidential palace, forcing the president to flee.

It means that the Afghan government which was supported by the US and the allies has collapsed and there will be a transition of power to the Taliban.

Hundreds of Afghans have been killed in recent weeks, while thousands have been forced to flee their homes. 

The UN refugee agency UNHCR is urging neighbouring countries to open their borders to refugees fleeing Afghanistan. 

On Thursday it was announced that 600 UK troops would be sent to the country to help British nationals leave. 

It follows advice from the UK Foreign Office urging all British citizens to leave the country and to avoid travel to Afghanistan.

The UK's former minister for international development, Conservative Rory Stewart, has described the international forces withdrawal as a "completely unnecessary, dangerous decision" and a "betrayal" of the Afghan people, millions of whom he says will be left in horrible conditions. 

Many Afghan people are afraid that the Taliban regime of the 1990s will return; it was characterised by public executions, stonings and girls being banned from school.

In addition, the UN is warning of a humanitarian crisis as thousands have been displaced from their homes with little to no food and essentials.