After the US military withdrew its military force from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, the Taliban have been making rapid gains. Apart from them, a number of players are positioning themselves for the next phase of the conflict.

With the Taliban gaining ground, Afghan interpreters for the British troops have asked the United Kingdom to rescue them from what they see as a “Taliban death sentence,” Sky News reported.

Unnamed for security purposes, both men said that they applied to a government scheme – the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) – that will allow them to find abode in Britain. However, it got rejected as they had been fired from their interpreting jobs for offenses that they said they did not commit.

As per the news report, they fear for their lives and the lives of their families.

“In the coming months the Taliban will get me,” said one person. He is living there with three of his children.

“As soon as possible, they will find me, they will slay me. They will slaughter and behead me and my family. Please save my life, please protect me. I am abandoned and this is clear,” the 35-year-old man said.

Another interpreter, who is 31-year-old, has four children, in an email query by SkyNews, said to the UK government: “Please kindly bring changes in your policy. Do not leave anyone behind who worked for the British forces.”

“Please pay attention. Please ignore [employment] termination issues. Please provide safety for all interpreters. Please do not leave us for the Taliban. For the battles’ enemies. Please think about our kids and families,” the 31-year-old added.

“I am absolutely fearful about my life because I already lost my family member. Taliban are stronger than every other time… We feel heartbroken,” Sky News quoted him as saying.

The 31-year-old said that the Taliban killed his brother, who had been working as a nurse at the hospital run by the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in 2017.

“Please we are human, not a robot… Please pay attention,” he urged.

Their fears have been fuelled by Taliban fighters taking control of much of the capital of northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province on Sunday. The group also overran government buildings in the northern provincial capital of Sar-e Pul.

On Friday, the Taliban seized their first provincial capital.

With this in mind, more than 40 former military chiefs, commanders and diplomats wrote to UK PM Boris Johnson, urging for greater generosity with the government’s resettlement scheme.

Former military bosses said the Taliban will not distinguish between whether or not an interpreter had lost their job.

“I think the principle must be: if in doubt, bring them out. Whereas it seems to be the other way round at the moment and that can’t be right,” said General Lord Richards, who was head of the armed forces between 2010 and 2013 and served in Afghanistan.

“If just one interpreter and his family are injured – or worse still die – as a result of our failure to get them out when we should, then that life will be on the conscience, I hope, of those who are taking these decisions, he added.