Chaos in Kabul: Biden does not rule out increasing US presence

Chaos in Kabul: Biden does not rule out increasing US presence

Faced with the chaos of the evacuation in Kabul and pressure from his allies, Joe Biden opened the door to keeping troops beyond the scheduled date of August 31, referring to “ongoing discussions” on the US side on the subject. .

“Discussions are going on between us and the army regarding expansion. We hope it doesn’t have to be lengthy, but the discussion will be, I think, on the state of the game of the evacuation process,” the US president said on Sunday evening, as London announced Tuesday to hold a virtual live 7th Summit “For urgent discussion on Afghanistan”.

On Sunday, seven people died in the chaos caused by the influx of thousands of desperate Afghans at Kabul airport.

Since entering Kabul on 15 August, Islamists have tried to convince the population that they have changed, claiming that their policies will be less brutal than those in charge of the country from 1996 to 2001. But that doesn’t stop the floods that don’t believe their promises and want to leave.

“The US, with all its might and its equipment (…), has failed to bring order to the airport. There is peace and quiet throughout the country, but there is only chaos at Kabul airport (…)

– “Take us with you!” “-

One journalist, part of a group of press workers and academics who were lucky enough to reach the airport on Sunday, described scenes of desperate Afghans entering their bus.

“They showed us their passports and shouted: + Take us with you, please take us with you,” this journalist told AFP.

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Still hoping for a miracle, the families are chained between barbed wire around the perimeter separating the Taliban from American troops, and access to the airport is very difficult.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country chairs the G7, considered it “important that the international community is able to ensure safe evacuation, prevent humanitarian crisis and protect the progress (made) of the Afghan people over the past twenty years”. works together to help”.

A day earlier, European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell had ruled it “impossible” to expel all Afghan allies to the Western powers before 31 August, albeit with the exception that the Americans could “change their mind” and that date. can stay ahead.

Several human rights organizations have also called on Joe Biden to extend the deadline for US withdrawal.

– More than 30,000 people have already been evacuated –

The White House said on Sunday that some 30,300 people have been evacuated since August 14, as Washington expects to evacuate 15,000 to 60,000 Afghans and their families, in addition to 15,000 Americans.

Thousands of foreigners of other nationalities, but also Afghans threatened or working for allies, are also awaiting evacuation by Western powers.

Washington solicited planes from several private airlines to help with the evacuation. These planes will not take off from Kabul airport, but will help transport people evacuated to third countries such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Poutin called for a halt to the influx of refugees from Afghanistan, among whom, according to him, “hidden fighters” may be hiding. “But who could be (hidden) among these refugees, how can we know? He said, estimating that “hundreds, if not hundreds, of thousands or maybe even millions” of people want to flee the country.

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-Aggressive against puncture –

The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15 without resistance following a lightning strike that began in May, beginning the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.

The Panchir Valley, northeast of Kabul, long known as an anti-Taliban stronghold, has become an area of ​​resistance. This National Resistance Front (FNR) is specifically led by Ahmed Masood, the son of Commander Ahmed Shah Masood, who was assassinated by Al-Qaeda in 2001.

On Sunday, the Taliban announced a major offensive against the Panchir Valley, the only region it still opposes.

“Hundreds of mujahideen in the Islamic emirate are heading to the state of Panchir to control it after local authorities refused to hand it over peacefully,” the Taliban said on its Arabic Twitter account.

For its part, FNR spokesman Ali Maisam Nazri told AFP the front was preparing for a “prolonged conflict” with the Taliban. According to him, thousands of Afghans have joined the Panchir Valley to fight the new regime.

“We are ready to defend Afghanistan and we warn against bloodshed,” Masood told al-Arabiya channel on Sunday.


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