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U.S. evacuates 37,000 from Afghanistan as Taliban calls August 31 withdrawal deadline ‘crimson line’

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U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines information certified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Power C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, August 21, 2021.

US Air Power | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon mentioned Monday that the U.S. has evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of roughly 37,000 individuals from Afghanistan since August 14, with about 10,400 of them airlifted out over the weekend.

The weekend tally represents an obvious acceleration within the navy’s colossal efforts to relocate as many individuals as doable amid a Taliban takeover. As well as, coalition forces evacuated roughly 5,900 individuals over the weekend.

Because the finish of July, the U.S. has relocated roughly 42,000 individuals. There are nonetheless 1000’s extra awaiting evacuation.

The Pentagon mentioned that evacuees are flying from Kabul to non permanent protected haven areas throughout the Center East and Europe, together with U.S. installations in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Afghan nationals arriving in the USA will probably be housed at Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin, Ft. Lee in Virginia, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey and Ft. Bliss in Texas.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

The newest replace on evacuation efforts comes as U.S. and NATO coalition forces rush to airlift 1000’s of individuals in a foreign country forward of a self-imposed deadline to depart Afghanistan in eight days.

President Joe Biden has previously said that he could take into account extending the departure date previous August 31 however has but to take action.

A Taliban spokesman told Sky News that the group is not going to settle for such an extension.

“It is a crimson line. President Biden introduced that on 31 August they might withdraw all their navy forces. So in the event that they prolong it meaning they’re extending occupation whereas there isn’t any want for that,” Suhail Shaheen mentioned, in keeping with the report.

“If the U.S. or U.Ok. have been to hunt further time to proceed evacuations, the reply is not any. Or there can be penalties,” he added.

When requested in regards to the looming deadline on the Pentagon and the Taliban warning, Protection Division spokesman John Kirby mentioned that the “focus is on getting this executed by the tip of the month.”

U.S. Division of Protection Press Secretary John Kirby (R) and Military Main Normal William Taylor (L), Joint Workers deputy director for regional operations, take part in a information briefing on the Pentagon on August 23, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Alex Wong | Getty Photographs

“We’re effectively conscious of the acknowledged want by the Taliban to have this mission accomplished by the thirty first of August, I’ll let you know that we’re nonetheless planning on finishing it by the thirty first of August. That’s the mission that has been signed by the commander in chief and assigned to us and that is what we’re attempting to execute,” Kirby added.

Earlier on Monday, the U.S. navy confirmed {that a} brief firefight broke out at one gate into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport.

Navy Capt. William City, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, the combatant command that oversees American navy operations within the area, mentioned the incident “appeared to start when an unknown hostile actor fired upon Afghan safety forces.”

He added no American or NATO coalition forces have been injured.