US-led Kabul evacuation accelerates
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has said the US-led evacuation of Americans, at-risk Afghans and others from Kabul airport accelerated over the weekend.
Speaking at the White House on Sunday, Biden said 11,000 evacuees were airlifted out of the Afghan capital within 36 hours. He also said that no Afghan evacuees are sent directly to the United States without prior screening.
Biden added on Sunday that his priority was to get US citizens out of Afghanistan “as quickly and safely as possible.”
“We are working hard and as fast as possible to get people out,” President Biden said. “This is our mission. This is our goal.”
Tens of thousands of people still need the airlift, which security concerns and obstacles of American bureaucracy have slowed down. The Pentagon has ordered six U.S. commercial airlines to help move evacuees from temporary sites outside of Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden said on Sunday he was concerned about threats posed by the Islamic State as US troops sought to evacuate thousands of US citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.
In his remarks on Sunday, he noted that the terrorist group is a “nemesis of the Taliban” and said the more US troops are on the ground, the more the group will attempt to strike innocent civilians and US personnel near Hamid. Karzai. International airport.
The United States Embassy in Kabul has warned Americans to avoid going to the airport due to concerns about Islamic State fighters.
The extremist group has long said it wants to attack America and American interests abroad. He has been active in Afghanistan for several years, leading waves of horrific attacks, mainly against the Shiite minority.
The group has been the target of US airstrikes on several occasions in recent years and has faced Taliban attacks.
The British military said seven Afghan civilians were killed in crowds near Kabul international airport amid the chaos of those fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that “conditions on the ground remain extremely difficult, but we are doing everything possible to handle the situation in the safest and most secure manner possible.”
The airport has been the focal point for thousands of people trying to flee the Taliban, who invaded Kabul a week ago after their lightning strike took hold of the country.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to call a meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday for “urgent talks on the situation in Afghanistan”.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Johnson said it was “essential for the international community to work together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and help the Afghan people achieve the gains of the past 20 years.”
The UK holds the presidency of the G-7 countries this year, which are also made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The meeting will be held virtually and will discuss plans to provide humanitarian assistance and support to Afghan refugees.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden said the meeting would seek to help Afghans who contributed to the war effort and others seen as targets under the control of the country’s Taliban.