President Joe Biden promised to evacuate all Americans and U.S. allies in Afghanistan. But first, they have to get through the ring of Taliban fighters surrounding the Kabul airport.
In a speech Friday, Biden reassured tens of thousands of people awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan that the United States would not abandon them.
The same day, the State Department reiterated its warning that the United States could not guarantee safe passage to the airport for Americans in Kabul.
“Due to large crowds and security concerns, gates may open or close without notice,” the department said on its website. “Please use your best judgment and attempt to enter the airport at any gate that is open.”
Are U.S. troops helping? Biden has authorized a total deployment of about 6,000 to aid in the evacuation.
In Washington, some veterans in Congress called for extending a security perimeter beyond the Kabul airport so more Afghans can get through. They also wanted Biden to clarify that the Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops was not a firm one.
Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., said the deadline “is contributing to the chaos and the panic at the airport because you have Afghans who think that they have 10 days to get out of this country or that door is closing forever.”
On Saturday, an Islamic State group made threats against Americans in Afghanistan, further complicating evacuation efforts.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.