US President Joe Biden is expected to decide on Tuesday whether or not to extend the August 31 deadline for airlifting Americans and their allies to safety, the Tolonews website reports.
It comes as thousands of Afghans and desperate foreigners have gathered at Kabul airport in the hope of fleeing Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers.
President Joe Biden warned on Sunday that the evacuation was going to be “hard and painful” and that many things could still go wrong. US troops could stay past the August 31 deadline to oversee the evacuation, he said.
On Monday, an administration official told Reuters that Biden would decide within 24 hours whether to extend the deadline to give the Pentagon time to prepare.
Note that Defense Department officials said it would take days to fly the 6,000 troops deployed to secure and manage the airlift, beyond the need to remove thousands of Americans, citizens from allied countries and Afghans who worked with American forces.
In addition, Western countries worked at a “war pace” on Tuesday to get people out of Afghanistan, a diplomat from a NATO country said, as US President Joe Biden appeared ready to take the blast. pressure from other G7 leaders to ask for more time to finish. the airlift.
Widespread chaos punctuated by sporadic violence gripped Kabul airport, with Western troops and Afghan security guards pushing back crowds desperate to flee after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital on August 15.
In conclusion, U.S. Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, told reporters after a briefing on Afghanistan by intelligence officials that he did not believe the evacuation could be completed. in the remaining eight days.
“I think it’s possible but I think it’s highly unlikely given the number of Americans who have yet to be evacuated,” Schiff said.
A Taliban official said on Monday that an extension would not be granted, although he said foreign forces had not requested one. Washington said negotiations are continuing.