Biden mulls troops deployment in Afghanistan beyond Aug 31

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Following the Taliban’s swift takeover of Kabul last week, the US has been scrambling to evacuate Americans and its Afghan partners from the country, reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden has said he is in discussions with his military officials regarding the extension of the evacuation mission in Afghanistan, beyond the August 31 deadline.

Biden made these remarks during a White House address amid the country’s large-scale evacuation efforts in the war-ravaged country.

“Discussions are going on among us and the military about extending (Aug 31 evacuation deadline), our hope is, we don’t have to extend. But there going to be a discussion, I suspect on how far along we’re in the process,” said President Biden said during an address from White House

“We know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target innocent Afghans or American troops. We’re maintaining constant vigilance to monitor and disrupt threats from any source, including ISIS and the Afghan affiliate known as ISIS-K,” Biden added.

Following the Taliban’s swift takeover of Kabul last week, the US has been scrambling to evacuate Americans and its Afghan partners from the country.

Biden today informed that the US has extended the safe zone around the Kabul international airport. “We have made a number of changes, including extending the access around the airport and the safe zone,” Biden said during the presser.

Earlier on Friday, Biden had termed the evacuation from Afghanistan the ‘most difficult and largest airlift’ ever in the history. He had assured to get all Americans and allies out of the war-torn country. “Kabul evacuation is among the largest and most difficult airlifts in history,” Biden had said.

US military has pulled around 25,100 individuals from Afghanistan since August 14, and approximately 30,000 since the end of July.

“There have been approximately 25,100 personnel (on both military and coalitions flights) evacuated since August 14. There have been approximately 30,000 personnel (on both military and coalition flights) evacuated since the end of July,” the White House tweeted on Sunday.

I don’t trust anybody, says Biden

Biden said that he does not trust anybody when asked whether he believes the Taliban or not. “I don’t trust anybody. Taliban has to make a fundamental decision. Is the Taliban going to attempt to be able to unite and provide for well being of the people of Afghanistan, which no one group has ever done for 100 years? If it does, it would need additional help in terms of economic assistance, trade and a whole range of things,” he said.

“Taliban has said and we will see whether they mean or not. They are seeking legitimacy to determine whether or not they would be recognised by other countries. They have told other countries as well as us that they do not want us to move our diplomatic presence completely. All this talk now, so far Taliban has not taken actions against US forces,” he added.

The evacuations are being carried out as the security situation has deteriorated in Afghanistan following the takeover by the Taliban and the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s government.

“As of this morning, we have evacuated nearly 28,000 people since August the 14th, on both U.S. and coalition aircraft, including civilian charters, bringing the total number of people we have evacuated since July to approximately 33,000 persons. In one 24-hour period this weekend, 23 U.S. military flights — including 14 C-17s, 9 C-130 flights — left Kabul carrying 3,900 passengers. We see no reason why this tempo will not be kept up. During the same period, our military facilitated another 35 charter flights carrying an additional nearly 4,000 evacuees to other countries that are taking — that are taking them out. Altogether, we lifted approximately 11,000 people out of Kabul in less than 36 hours. It’s an incredible operation. Let me be clear: The evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful no matter when it started and when we began. It would have been true if we had started a month ago or a month from now. There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss, of heartbreaking images you see on television. It’s just a fact. My heart aches for those people you see,” Biden said

Earlier on Friday, Biden had assured to get all Americans and allies out of the war-torn country.

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