Joe Biden says US has evacuated 12,000 more people from Kabul
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During an update on the US evacuation of Afghanistan President Biden praised the efforts of the USA’s brave servicewomen and men and diplomats for evacuating 75,900 people since the end of July. He went on to thank America’s allies “who are still standing with us” throughout the operation which has seen 70,700 people evacuated since August 14. Mr Biden’s comments come as G7 leaders including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson met on Tuesday to discuss the strategy of the continued military withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan as the August 31 date draws closer and time runs out to get people out of the country. Mr Biden stressed he is aiming to get US forces out of the country by August 31 but said the Pentagon had “contingency” plans in place if this was not possible.
President Biden said: “I express my thanks for the solidarity we have seen as we have stood up an unprecedented global effort.
“As of this afternoon we have helped evacuate 70,700 people since August 14.
“75,900 people since the end of July.”
He added: “Just in the past 12-hours, another 19 US military flights, 18 C17’s and one C130 carrying approximately 6,400 evacuees…
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“And 31 coalition flights carrying 5,600 people, have left Kabul – just in the last 12 hours.”
Mr Biden went on to share the huge progress the evacuation has made in evacuating people since only this morning.
He said: “A total of 50 more flights, 12,000 more people since I updated you this morning.”
And he went on to praise the efforts of all involved in the successful operation.
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He said: “These numbers are a testament to the efforts of our brave servicewomen and men, to our diplomats on the ground in Kabul…
“And to our allies still standing with us.”
During the speech Mr Biden also issued a severe warning about the growing threat of terror group ‘ISIS-K’ in Afghanistan.
He said: “The acute and growing risk of an attack by a terrorist group known as ISIS-K, an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan which is a sworn enemy of the Taliban as well.
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“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both US and allied forces and innocent civilians.”
Speaking after the G7 meeting, Mr Johnson said: “We will go right up until the last minute that we can but you’ve heard what the President of the United States has said, you’ve heard what the Taliban have said.
“We are confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better.”
The Prime Minister said leaders had agreed the “number one condition” up to and after August 31 was that the Taliban must grant “safe passage for those who want to come out”.
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