President Joe Biden has confirmed that the United States is on track to finish up with the evacuation of its troops from Afghanistan by the stated August 31 deadline, set under an agreement struck with the Taliban last year to end the 20 years-long war.
This, however, comes as a disappointment to leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies, who have appealed to the US to allow time for more airlifts.
The U.S. president was adamant that the risk of terror attacks was too great to accede to the pleas of G-7 leaders to keep what are now 5,800 American troops at Kabul’s airport beyond the end of the month, anchoring the airlifts.
“The sooner we can finish, the better,” Biden said on Tuesday.
“Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.”
However, he assured that the U.S. and its closest allies would “stand shoulder to shoulder” in future action over Afghanistan and the Taliban.
Last week, Biden hinted that his government may extend the deadline but to this possibility was immediately dashed as the Taliban vowed revenge if such were to happen.
The Islamist group had called it a “red line.”
Presently, there’s a growing concern about the risk of suicide bombings by Islamic State at the Kabul airport.
UN Human Rights Chief on Tuesday also said there was credible intelligence on ground that the Taliban has begun “summary executions” Afghan security forces who had surrendered and civilians including women.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has said the deadline for evacuating people would go up the last minute of next Tuesday.
“We will go on right up until the last moment that we can,” he said, adding that Britain hoped there would be a functioning airport in Kabul after the evacuations end.