U.S. evacuates 48,000 from Afghanistan as Taliban calls Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline ‘crimson line’
WASHINGTON – The White Home mentioned 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.
For the reason that finish of July, the U.S. has relocated roughly 53,000 individuals, the White Home mentioned. There are nonetheless a number of thousand Individuals believed to be awaiting evacuation, in accordance with the State Division.
The Pentagon mentioned evacuees are flying from Kabul to short-term 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 shall be housed at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Lee in Virginia, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Fort Bliss in Texas.
Military Gen. Steve Lyons, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, instructed reporters Monday that almost 200 plane had been devoted to the evacuation effort in some capability.
“So, once I say we’re all in. I imply it,” Lyons mentioned, including he was assured the U.S. navy would be capable to improve its present departure tempo.
The newest 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.
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 mentioned he could take into account extending the departure date previous Aug. 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 crimson line. President Biden introduced that on 31 August they might withdraw all their navy forces. So in the event that they lengthen it meaning they’re extending occupation whereas there isn’t a want for that,” Suhail Shaheen mentioned, in accordance with the report.
“If the U.S. or U.Ok. had been to hunt extra time to proceed evacuations, the reply is not any. Or there can be penalties,” he added.
When requested in regards to the Taliban warning, nationwide safety advisor Jake Sullivan instructed reporters that Biden was assessing the state of affairs “day-to-day” and added that “the president will make his personal determinations” on a possible extension.
Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks throughout the day by day press briefing on the White Home in Washington, DC, on August 23, 2021.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Photos
The State Division reiterated the U.S. would maintain the Taliban accountable if the group didn’t honor its dedication to offer protected passage to evacuees touring to the airport.
“The Taliban has agreed to offer protected passage to Individuals, third-country nationals, and to Afghans who wish to go away, spokesman Ned Worth instructed reporters on the State Division. “Collectively we’ll 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 threat 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 mates and foes alike, and to facilitate the evacuation of tens of 1000’s of people that for humanitarian causes, wish to go away Afghanistan,” Sullivan mentioned.
“This is a gigantic logistical, diplomatic, safety humanitarian endeavor. There isn’t a different nation on the planet who may pull one thing like this off, bar none,” he added.
On the Pentagon, Protection Division spokesman John Kirby mentioned 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 Basic 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 want by the Taliban to have this mission accomplished by the 31st of August, I’ll let you know 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 attempting 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 — mentioned the incident “appeared to start when an unknown hostile actor fired upon Afghan safety forces.”
He added no American or NATO coalition forces had been injured.