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U.S. evacuates 48,000 from Afghanistan as Taliban calls Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline ‘pink line’

WASHINGTON – The White Home stated Monday that the U.S. has evacuated or helped to get roughly 48,000 individuals out of Afghanistan since Aug. 14, with about 10,900 of them airlifted out throughout 12 hours Monday.

The 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 individuals over the weekend.

Because the finish of July, the U.S. has relocated roughly 53,000 individuals, the White Home stated. There are nonetheless a number of thousand Individuals believed to be awaiting evacuation, based on the State Division.

The Pentagon stated evacuees are flying from Kabul to momentary safe-haven areas 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 might be housed at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Lee in Virginia, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Fort Bliss in Texas.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

Military Gen. Steve Lyons, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, advised reporters Monday that almost 200 plane have been devoted to the evacuation effort in some capability.

“So, once I say we’re all in. I imply it,” Lyons stated, including he was assured the U.S. navy would have the ability to enhance its present departure tempo.

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

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

US Air Drive | Reuters

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

A Taliban spokesman advised Sky Information that the group is not going to 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 prolong it meaning they’re extending occupation whereas there is no such thing as a want for that,” Suhail Shaheen stated, based on the report.

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

When requested in regards to the Taliban warning, nationwide safety advisor Jake Sullivan advised reporters that Biden was assessing the scenario “day-to-day” and added that “the president will make his personal determinations” on a possible extension.

Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks through the every day press briefing on the White Home in Washington, DC, on August 23, 2021.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Photographs

The State Division reiterated the U.S. would maintain the Taliban accountable if the group didn’t honor its dedication to offer secure passage to evacuees touring to the airport.

“The Taliban has agreed to offer secure passage to Individuals, third-country nationals, and to Afghans who wish to depart, spokesman Ned Value advised reporters on the State Division. “Collectively we are going to maintain them accountable if they don’t,” he added.

Sullivan downplayed criticisms that the USA had botched its withdrawal from Afghanistan given the rushed navy evacuations and panicked scenes on the airport.

“What I see is the USA securing an airfield on the danger of a number of thousand American troops to facilitate not simply the evacuation of Individuals, however to facilitate the evacuation of third-country nationals from buddies and foes alike, and to facilitate the evacuation of tens of hundreds of people that for humanitarian causes, wish to depart Afghanistan,” Sullivan stated.

“This is a gigantic logistical, diplomatic, safety humanitarian enterprise. There is no such thing as a different nation on the earth who might pull one thing like this off, bar none,” he added.

On the Pentagon, Protection Division spokesman John Kirby stated the “focus is on getting this completed by the tip of the month.”

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

Alex Wong | Getty Photographs

“We’re effectively conscious of the acknowledged 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 a quick 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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