US President Joe Biden on Monday defended the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying that despite the Taliban’s spectacular victory, which spread panic in Kabul, thousands of people tried to flee to the airport.
In his White House address – the first time Islamist insurgents have surprisingly taken control of the country over the weekend – he acknowledged that the Taliban’s advance has come faster than expected.
And he did not shy away from criticizing the Western-backed government that was overthrown in Kabul, saying US troops could not defend a nation whose leaders “fled in defeat” as President Ashraf Ghani did. ۔
“We gave them every opportunity to determine their own future. We couldn’t give them the desire to fight for the future,” Biden said.
“Our mission in Afghanistan has never been nation building.”
The Taliban shed a little blood on Kabul and many other cities – but a sense of panic in the capital overwhelmed the residents, some of whom were worried about the resurgence of a brutal Islamic insurgency from 1996 to 2001.
At the airport, angry Afghans tried to board a few flights available throughout the day before US forces – which were sent to secure the facility – temporarily halted military and civilian operations due to the crowds. Was forced.
“We are afraid to live in this city,” a 25-year-old veteran told AFP.
“Since I was serving in the army, the Taliban will definitely target me.”
The United States – shocked by the rapid collapse of the Afghan government – has deployed 6,000 troops to ensure the safe evacuation of embassy staff, as well as Afghans serving as spokespersons or in other supporting roles. Have sent
Other governments, including France, Germany and Australia, also arranged for charter flights.
On Monday, dramatic footage posted on social media showed a U.S. Air Force plane running as it skidded off the runway, some wrapped around it.
In other videos, citizens are more crowded and buzzing than ever before.
A photo taken by US media shows a jammed US military transport plane with about 6,640 Afghan passengers on board – some of whom climbed half-open ramps at the last minute and were allowed to board. Gone
The airport reopened early Tuesday, a U.S. general said, adding that U.S. officials are now in charge of air traffic control.
Taliban fighters have taken over checkpoints across Kabul, and the fighters walk through the streets of the Green Zone, hanging on their shoulders, the strongest fortified district with most embassies and international organizations.
Ghani’s departure on Sunday finalized the end of his government. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
The Taliban sought to reassure the international community that Afghans should not be intimidated by them, co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar said, adding that the militants needed to show that they could “serve our nation and ensure its security.” “
China was the first major country to raise a flag of support for the Taliban and said it was ready for “friendly relations”. Both Russia and Iran made diplomatic progress.
The State Department said any US relationship with the Taliban government would depend on respecting their human rights and rejecting extremism.
Biden issued a stern warning to the rebels that any threat to US interests would be met with a “devastating” military response.
Critics say the Taliban’s victory has severely damaged America’s reputation as a world power, almost 20 years after it was ousted in a US-led attack on al-Qaeda.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US-led NATO operation in Afghanistan was “not very successful and did not go as planned.”
Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, called the Taliban’s occupation a “failure of the international community” and estimated that Western intervention was only half the battle.
The US government has insisted that its two-decade war in Afghanistan was a success, defined by the elimination of the al-Qaeda threat, and that the mission had expanded beyond its original goals.
Biden said he was “left to ask those who argue we should stay: how many generations of American sons and daughters would you send to the Afghan civil war when you don’t send American troops?” Will? “
The next day will be crucial, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “The world is watching. We cannot and will not leave the people of Afghanistan.”
Copyright AFP All rights reserved.