WASHINGTON — President Biden on Friday promised to convey residence any American nonetheless trapped in Afghanistan, calling the evacuation effort for Americans and weak Afghans “one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history.”
But he acknowledged that he didn’t know what number of Americans had been nonetheless within the nation, or if they might finally be introduced out safely.
“Let me be clear: Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Mr. Biden stated, earlier than including, “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or that it will be without the risk of loss.”
He additionally remained staunchly dedicated to his determination to drag U.S. troops from the nation, defiantly telling reporters, “Does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces? Send your sons, your daughters, like my son was sent to Iraq, to maybe die?”
Seeking to present a way of what number of people had been flown in a foreign country within the days since Afghanistan’s collapse, Mr. Biden stated that some 18,000 people had been airlifted from the nation since July. This week, he stated, Afghans, together with ladies leaders, and American journalists — together with employees members of The Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal — had been safely faraway from the nation.
Mr. Biden stated that he would decide to airlifting Afghans who had been useful to the 20-year battle effort, however stated Americans had been his first precedence.
The president’s remarks had been delivered amid wrenching photos of human desperation as people begged to be evacuated from the airport in Kabul, the bottlenecked and sole level of departure for Americans and weak Afghans making an attempt to flee a takeover by the Taliban. The Biden administration has confronted a world outcry over how shortly Afghanistan collapsed into Taliban rule as American forces stood down, in addition to growing questions over how a lot navy and intelligence officers knew forward of time concerning the tenuous state of affairs on the bottom.
Scenes of chaos and desperation, which included a younger toddler being hoisted over a razor wire fence into the arms of American troopers, have added to the scrutiny over Mr. Biden’s staunch protection of his determination to drag troops out. Mr. Biden referred to as the photographs of the previous week “heartbreaking,” and stated the United States had “6,000 of America’s finest fighting men and women” working to revive order on the Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul and get people in a foreign country.
On Friday, Mr. Biden, who had been backwards and forwards from trip spots at Camp David and Wilmington, Del., took questions for the primary time this week, and continued to defend his determination to drag American troops.
“What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point, with Al Qaeda gone?” Mr. Biden requested in response to a query about whether or not or not American allies have been important of the withdrawal effort. “We went and did the mission. You’ve known my position for a long, long time.”
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Here’s extra on their origin story and their file as rulers.
On Thursday, administration officers stated that some 3,000 people had been evacuated on the airport in Kabul, together with some 350 American residents. But by Friday afternoon, administration officers stated that the surge of evacuees to different nations had created a backup for “third party countries” processing new arrivals.
“The commander on the ground has issued the order to recommence,” a senior administration official stated in a press release on Friday.
But Mr. Biden’s advisers have conceded that, for Americans and Afghans hoping to achieve Kabul from cities and cities additional afield, protected passage to Kabul isn’t assured.
“We right now have established contact with the Taliban to allow for the safe passage of people to the airport and that is working at the moment to get Americans and Afghans at risk to the airport,” Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, stated in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt on Thursday. “That being said, we can’t count on anything.”
American officers haven’t publicly stated how lengthy they hope the delicate accord will maintain forward of Mr. Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline for a complete withdrawal.