Taliban will no longer allow Afghans to go to Kabul airport for evacuation

A Taliban fighter holding an M16 assault rifle stands outdoors the Inside Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021.

Stringer | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Taliban mentioned Tuesday that the group is not going to enable Afghan nationals to depart the nation, a growth that comes one week earlier than U.S. and coalition forces are slated to depart Afghanistan.

“We’re not in favor of permitting Afghans to depart,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.

“They [the Americans] have the chance, they’ve all of the assets, they will take all of the folks that belong to them however we’re not going to permit Afghans to depart and we is not going to lengthen the deadline,” he mentioned, including that evacuations carried out by overseas forces after Aug. 31 can be a “violation” of a Biden administration promise to finish the U.S. navy’s mission within the nation.

“The best way to the airport has been closed now. Afghans are usually not allowed to go there now, foreigners are allowed to go however we have now stopped Afghan nationals to go as a result of the gang is extra, there’s hazard that folks will lose their lives, their may be a stampede,” Mujahid said, according to an interpreter through the broadcast.

President Joe Biden has previously said he might contemplate extending the departure date previous Aug. 31 however has but to take action. The president is expected to address the nation on the U.S. and coalition forces evacuation and relocation efforts on Tuesday following an emergency G-7 assembly.

On Monday, a Taliban spokesman told Sky News issued an identical warning with regard to a possible extension.

“It is a pink line. President Biden introduced that on 31 August they’d withdraw all their navy forces. So in the event that they lengthen it which means they’re extending occupation whereas there isn’t a want for that,” Suhail Shaheen mentioned, according to the report.

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

White Home Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned Monday throughout a press briefing that the administration believed it could complete its evacuation efforts by the end of the month.

“We imagine that we have now time between now and the thirty first to get out any American who desires to get out,” Sullivan on the White Home.

“We’re partaking with the Taliban, consulting with the Taliban on each facet of what is occurring in Kabul proper now,” he mentioned. “Finally, it will likely be the president’s determination how this proceeds, nobody else’s,” Sullivan mentioned.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

The White Home mentioned Tuesday that the U.S. has evacuated or helped to get roughly 58,700 folks out of Afghanistan since Aug. 14, with about 21,600 of them airlifted out throughout 12 hours Monday.

Because the finish of July, the U.S. has relocated roughly 63,900 folks, the White Home mentioned. There are nonetheless a number of thousand Individuals believed to be awaiting evacuation, in response to the State Division.

Greater than 5,000 U.S. troops are at the moment on the bottom in Kabul helping with the emergency evacuation efforts.

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

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report

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