Kabul evacuation among ‘largest, most challenging’ airlifts in history, says US President Joe Biden
After 20 years of conflict, Biden warned that the US administration has no idea how many of its citizens are still in Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden attempted to reassure the United States on Friday about the dramatic departure from Afghanistan, saying that no Americans would be abandoned during one of the "most challenging" airlifts in history. Biden, who was widely chastised for the frantic attempt to fly Americans, other foreigners, and Afghan friends out of Taliban-occupied Kabul, warned that the desperate endeavour to fly Americans, other foreigners, and Afghan allies out of Taliban-occupied Kabul was risky.
In a televisioned address, Biden said this is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history, and he cannot promise what the outcome would be.
According to the White House, around 13,000 individuals have departed aboard US military planes in less than a week, with the number expected to rise. Due to congestion at a base in Qatar, where jets were en route, an hour-long halt was imposed on Friday.
After 20 years of conflict, Biden warned that the US administration has no idea how many of its citizens are still in Afghanistan. He also stated that the US is "committed" to rescuing Afghans who fought alongside US forces against the Taliban and now fear retaliation. Biden dismissed the proposal of extending the US military cordon beyond Kabul's airport into Taliban-controlled areas, citing "unintended consequences."
According to the Pentagon, US forces did depart the airport in one instance to bring 169 individuals inside to safety. Biden dismissed the argument that the US-trained Afghan army disintegrated, allowing the Taliban to take control practically without a fight on the international stage, which was undermining Washington's reputation.