West Struggles With Afghanistan Chaos, Biden Again Defends Withdrawal


KABUL/WASHINGTON:Chaos across the Kabul airport was so unhealthy this week that the U.S. army was pressured to make use of three helicopters to move 169 Americans into the complicated from a constructing simply 200 meters (656 ft) away, the Pentagon stated on Friday.

As Western nations struggled to ramp up the tempo of evacuations from Afghanistan amid the chaos and stories of Taliban violence, U.S. President Joe Biden confronted criticism about his administration’s planning for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the Islamic militants’ swift takeover of the nation.

“I’ve seen no query of our credibility from our allies,” Biden told reporters after making a speech from the White House. “… As a matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve got … we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting, committing to what we said we would do.”

Thousands of determined Afghans clutching papers, kids and a few belongings thronged Kabul airport the place gun-toting Taliban members urged these with out journey paperwork to go house. In and across the airport https://tmsnrt.rs/3stVpcj, no less than 12 folks have been killed since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officers stated.

U.S. evacuation flights from Kabul’s airport stopped for greater than six hours on Friday whereas U.S. authorities appeared for nations keen to just accept folks fleeing Afghanistan. They did resume later within the day.

In his remarks, Biden referred to the 169 Americans transported by the army. Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby later stated the choice was made to make use of the helicopters on Thursday as a result of the group was unable to get to the gate from a close-by resort to the airport.

“The plan was merely (for them) to stroll via the gate, however there was a big crowd established outdoors the Abbey gate, a crowd that not all people had confidence in, by way of their capability to stroll via and so native commanders on the scene took the initiative and flew these helicopters on the market to select them up,” Kirby said.

Biden insisted every American who wanted to would be evacuated, and that about 18,000 people had been airlifted out since July.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described the situation outside Kabul airport as “very dire and difficult,” as a number of member nations pressed for evacuations to proceed past an Aug. 31 U.S. deadline.

Biden has not backed off that deadline, regardless of calls – internationally and at house from his fellow Democrats in addition to opposition Republicans – to maintain troops in Afghanistan so long as essential to convey house each American.

Biden stated he couldn’t predict what the ultimate final result could be in Afghanistan, the place the United States and allies have waged a 20-year battle. But he promised to work with different nations to set “harsh circumstances” for any cooperation or recognition of the Taliban, based on their human rights record.

PROTESTS, AND VIOLENCE

“They’re looking to gain some legitimacy, they’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to retain that country,” he stated. “And there’s going to be some harsh circumstances, robust circumstances we’re going to use that may rely on … how properly they deal with ladies and women, how they deal with their residents.”

Although the Taliban has sought to present a more moderate face since its lightning takeover of the country last week, the group ruled with an iron fist from 1996-2001 before being toppled by U.S.-led forces for sheltering al Qaeda militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

Individual Afghans and international aid and advocacy groups have reported harsh retaliation against protests, and roundups of those who formerly held government positions, criticized the Taliban or worked with Americans.

Former officials told harrowing tales of hiding from the Taliban as armed gunmen went from door to door. One family of 16 described running to the bathroom, lights off and children’s mouths covered, in fear for their lives https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/cowering-bathroom-some-afghans-dread-taliban-knock-door-2021-08-20.

“Those who may be in danger have no clear way out,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Shabia Mantoo stated, urging neighboring nations to maintain borders open.

Biden once more insisted that the U.S.-funded and -armed Afghan army had been anticipated to place up extra of a battle.

“The overwhelming consensus was that … the Afghan forces, they weren’t going to go away. They weren’t going to simply abandon and they might put down their arms and take off,” Biden said, arguing that the United States has no more interest in the country with al Qaeda defeated.

The Taliban called for unity, asking imams at Friday prayers to persuade people not to leave.

A witness said several people were killed in the eastern city of Asadabad on Thursday when the Taliban fired on a protest. There were similar shows of defiance in two other eastern cities – Jalalabad and Khost – coinciding with celebrations of Afghanistan’s 1919 independence from British control.

“The Taliban are facing the new reality of Afghanistan that Afghans are not the same Afghans of 20 years ago,” Barakat Rahmati, Afghanistan’s deputy ambassador to Qatar, informed Reuters.

“Afghans, inclusive of women and men, held protests in Kabul regardless of a Taliban gun being pointed to them. They are holding protests towards injustice. They are defending their identification and their flag.”

The U.S. State Department announced that nearly a dozen countries, from Europe to the Middle East, would allow flights with people evacuated from Kabul to land. Canada also said it would consider taking in additional refugees on behalf of the United States or other allies.

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