WASHINGTON — Joe Biden, President of the US, said that he is in discussions with his military officials regarding the extension of the evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 deadline.
Amid the country’s large-scale evacuation efforts in the war-ravaged country, he made these remarks during his address at the White House.
“Discussions are going on among us and the military about extending (Aug. 31 evacuation deadline),” said Biden.
“Our hope is, we don’t have to extend. But they’re going to be a discussion, I suspect, on how far along we’re in the process. We know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target innocent Afghans or American troops.”
He said they are maintaining constant vigilance to monitor and disrupt threats from any source, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Afghan affiliate, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Khorasan Province.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant— Khorasan Province is a self-proclaimed branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant active in South Asia and Central Asia.
However, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant deny any connection.
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.
“This is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history,” said Biden in a statement.
“And the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the United States of America.”
He said that the US has extended the safe zone around the Kabul international airport.
“We have made several changes, including extending the access around the airport and the safe zone,” Biden.
Earlier on Aug. 20, 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 said.
US military has pulled around 25,100 individuals from Afghanistan since Aug. 14 and approximately 30,000 since July.
“There have been approximately 25,100 personnel (on both military and coalitions flights) evacuated since Aug. 14,” the White House tweeted.
“There have been approximately 30,000 personnel (on both military and coalition flights) evacuated since the end of July.”
From Aug. 21 to Aug. 22, 23 US military flights evacuated approximately 3,900 personnel from Afghanistan, and 35 coalition aircraft (including partners, foreign military, and commercial airlines) evacuated about 3,900 personnel, as per the reports of the White House.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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