Acknowledging the difficulty of getting tens of thousands of people out of Afghanistan in matter of days, President Biden said Sunday in his second address in three days that US troops deployments may be extended beyond the Aug. 31 deadline if necessary, The Hill reports.
While he remains optimistic all necessary evacuations could be completed, he left open the possibility of an extension, which is under discussion within the administration, to facilitate the evacuation of American personnel and Afghan allies.
The White House said Sunday that roughly 25,100 people were evacuated from Afghanistan over the chaotic past week with nearly 8,000 of those evacuees coming in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the administration ramped up evacuation efforts, activating on Sunday the Civil Reserve Air Fleet of commercial airliners that will assist in getting Americans and Afghan allies relocated faced with bipartisan and international criticism about a withdrawal effort.
Whole world is closely following the disturbing scenes this week of evacuation efforts in and around the airport in Kabul as people attempt to flee the country that’s back in Taliban’s hands with US Afghan allies fearful of retribution under militants’ rule.
Biden also hinted US forces had taken measures to improve access to the Kabul’s airport for more people to get there more safely to leave the country, without explicitly getting into specific strategy – like expanding the perimeter around the airport – but emphasized that it’s still a dangerous operation.