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U.S. evacuates 37,000 from Afghanistan as Taliban calls August 31 withdrawal deadline ‘pink line’

U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines information certified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Power C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, August 21, 2021.

US Air Power | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon stated Monday that the U.S. has evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of roughly 37,000 folks from Afghanistan since August 14, with about 10,400 of them airlifted out over the weekend.

The weekend tally represents an obvious acceleration within the navy’s colossal efforts to relocate as many individuals as potential amid a Taliban takeover. As well as, coalition forces evacuated roughly 5,900 folks over the weekend.

For the reason that finish of July, the U.S. has relocated roughly 42,000 folks. There are nonetheless 1000’s extra awaiting evacuation.

The Pentagon stated that evacuees are flying from Kabul to non permanent secure haven places throughout the Center East and Europe, together with U.S. installations in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Afghan nationals arriving in the USA shall be housed at Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin, Ft. Lee in Virginia, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey and Ft. Bliss in Texas.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

The most recent replace on evacuation efforts comes as U.S. and NATO coalition forces rush to airlift 1000’s of individuals in a foreign country forward of a self-imposed deadline to depart Afghanistan in eight days.

President Joe Biden has beforehand stated that he might think about extending the departure date previous August 31 however has but to take action.

A Taliban spokesman instructed Sky Information that the group won’t settle for such an extension.

“It is a pink line. President Biden introduced that on 31 August they’d withdraw all their navy forces. So in the event that they lengthen it meaning they’re extending occupation whereas there isn’t any want for that,” Suhail Shaheen stated, in line with the report.

“If the U.S. or U.Okay. have been to hunt extra time to proceed evacuations, the reply is not any. Or there could be penalties,” he added.

When requested in regards to the looming deadline on the Pentagon and the Taliban warning, Protection Division spokesman John Kirby stated that the “focus is on getting this finished by the tip of the month.”

U.S. Division of Protection Press Secretary John Kirby (R) and Military Main Normal William Taylor (L), Joint Workers deputy director for regional operations, take part in a information briefing on the Pentagon on August 23, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Alex Wong | Getty Photos

“We’re effectively conscious of the said need by the Taliban to have this mission accomplished by the 31st of August, I’ll inform you that we’re nonetheless planning on finishing it by the 31st of August. That’s the mission that has been signed by the commander in chief and assigned to us and that is what we’re making an attempt to execute,” Kirby added.

Earlier on Monday, the U.S. navy confirmed {that a} transient firefight broke out at one gate into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport.

Navy Capt. William City, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, the combatant command that oversees American navy operations within the area, stated the incident “appeared to start when an unknown hostile actor fired upon Afghan safety forces.”

He added no American or NATO coalition forces have been injured.

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