The Taliban warned on Monday that if the United States and its allies tried to stay in Afghanistan after next week, it would have “consequences” as Washington sought to make tens of thousands of people flee. Have stepped up their efforts.
Thousands of troops have returned from Kabul airport to monitor the chaos of foreigners and Afghans, and US President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to extend the August 31 deadline for a full withdrawal.
Biden and a group of seven of his comrades – many of whom are pushing for troops to be kept open at the airport – will meet on Tuesday to discuss liaison with Afghanistan and the hardline Islamist Taliban on the agenda. Will handle
“The goal is to get as many people out as possible,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday.
“The focus is on trying to do as much as possible by the end of this month.”
National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters that the White House believes it can expel all Americans by the deadline – but insists that the vast majority of those evacuated every day are Afghan citizens.
So far, the Taliban have not agreed to a compromise.
Spokesman Sohail Shaheen told Sky News that any foreign military presence beyond the set date would be “extended.”
“If the United States or Britain asks for more time to continue the evacuation – there is no answer … there will be consequences,” he said.
The Taliban are currently working to form a government, but two sources in the movement told AFP that no cabinet announcement would be made until the last US troops leave Afghanistan.
The exit from Kabul has created horrific scenes and killed at least eight people – some were crushed to death and at least one young soccer player died after falling off a plane.
One Afghan man was killed and three others were wounded in an exchange of fire between local guards and unidentified assailants on Monday, the German Defense Ministry said.
The Taliban, notorious for its harsh interpretation of Islamic law during 1996-2001, has repeatedly claimed to be different and has announced amnesty for government forces and personnel.
But an intelligence document for the United Nations says militants are going door-to-door hunting down former government officials and those working with US and NATO forces.
In the capital, former insurgents have brought some sense of calm to the long-violent city, with their fighters patrolling the streets and setting up checkpoints.
With government offices still largely closed, many Afghans are worried about payments – but the Taliban announced Monday the appointment of a central bank governor to keep the wheels of finance running.
Hardliners are also trying to show their authority in front of everyone, ensuring that the triangular national flag is replaced with their white banner.
In Kabul over the weekend, youths lined the street to sell Taliban flags, in black text declaring the Muslim faith and the official name of the government: “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.
Although Biden and his top aides insist the plane can be completed on time, the European Union and the United Kingdom say it is impossible.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Prime Minister Boris Johnson would raise the issue at the G7 Virtual Summit.
“If they extend their schedule by a day or two, we’ll have a day or two to get people out of it,” Wallace told reporters in Scotland.
Germany said it was in talks with NATO allies and the Taliban to keep Kabul airport open for evacuations after August 31, while France said “additional time is needed to complete the ongoing operation.” “
“We are in close contact with allies and partners to coordinate the evacuation of their own citizens and their priority personnel,” Sullivan said at the White House.
Biden and his colleagues have acknowledged the tragic scenes at the airport, in which children and infants are transported to soldiers through razor wire fences and men who are stuck outside departure planes, but say they Are inevitable
“There is no way out of these many people without pain and loss and heartbreaking images,” Biden said Sunday.
A White House official said Monday that 10,900 people had been evacuated from Kabul airport in the past 12 hours (up to 1,900 GMT) since the start of the August 14 high-speed flight. There are 48,000 people.
Waves of resistance against the Taliban continue outside Kabul.
Some former government troops have gathered in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital, which has long been known as an anti-Taliban stronghold. There were sporadic reports of clashes overnight.
Taliban fighters are “stationed near Panjshir”, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted, saying the group was trying to resolve the issue “peacefully”.
The NRF is ready for a “long-term conflict” but is still trying to negotiate a comprehensive government with the Taliban.
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