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Biden says U.S. has ‘lengthy method to go and loads might nonetheless go incorrect’ in Afghanistan evacuation

President Joe Biden on Sunday stated his administration is contemplating extending an Aug. 31 deadline to exit Afghanistan.

In a press convention, Biden stated the U.S. has a “lengthy method to go and loads might nonetheless go incorrect” amid the chaotic evacuation of Individuals and Afghan allies from Kabul after the Taliban took over Afghanistan one week in the past.

“The evacuation of hundreds of individuals from Kabul goes to be laborious and painful irrespective of when it began, once we started,” the president stated throughout a press convention on the White Home. He stated that “our hope is that we’ll not have to increase” the deadline.

“It could have been true if we had began a month in the past, or a month from now. There isn’t any method to evacuate this many individuals with out ache,” Biden stated.

US President Joe Biden responds to questions concerning the ongoing US army evacuations of US residents and susceptible Afghans, within the East Room of the White Home in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2021.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Photos

The Biden administration is dealing with criticism of its dealing with of the general U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The withdrawal, introduced earlier this yr, has been beset by chaos.

1000’s of individuals have crowded the Kabul airport and a few even plunged to their deaths after clinging to the outside of a U.S. army plane whereas trying to depart the nation. Seven Afghan civilians have been killed in crowds trying the enter Kabul’s airport, in response to the British army.

The president stated U.S. forces proceed to make progress on evacuations from Kabul. As much as 33,000 individuals have been evacuated since July, together with 28,000 since August 14 and 11,000 over the weekend, Biden stated.

The president reiterated that Individuals are the primary precedence for evacuation out of Afghanistan, vowing that “any American who needs to get house will get house.”

Biden additionally defended his choice to withdraw the U.S. from the nation, arguing that it was the “logical, rational and proper choice to make.”

U.S. protection officers stated Sunday that the army is in search of other ways to get individuals to the airport safely amid particular threats from ISIS in opposition to the airport. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on Saturday warned Americans to not journey to the airport as a result of safety threats exterior the gates.

The Pentagon on Sunday ordered U.S. business airways to supply planes to move individuals who have already flown in another country to army bases in Europe and the Center East.

The president emphasised that planes taking off from Kabul usually are not flying on to the U.S. however slightly touchdown at army bases and processing facilities world wide. Safety screenings are in place at these websites for anybody who just isn’t a U.S. citizen, he added.

Biden’s job approval scores have dropped amid the continuing disaster in Afghanistan. An NBC Information ballot launched Sunday reveals a overwhelming majority of adults surveyed say they disapprove of the president’s dealing with of the scenario in Afghanistan, with solely 25% noting they approve of how he is handled it.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, throughout an interview on Fox Information, stated Sunday that 8,000 individuals have been evacuated from Kabul on 60 flights within the final 24 hours.

The U.S. has additionally reached an settlement with about two dozen international locations over 4 continents who’re serving to or will quickly assist with shifting individuals out of Kabul, Blinken stated.

— CNBC’s Leslie Josephs and Brian Schwartz contributed reporting

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