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Monday, September 20, 2021

Pentagon on Afghanistan: ‘Notably harmful time’ forward of Biden withdrawal deadline

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The Pentagon on Monday warned that there’s nonetheless an “lively menace” in Kabul that “stays excessive and stays actual,” whereas confirming that U.S. troops will go away Afghanistan by President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline.

Biden, over the weekend, warned that one other terrorist assault in Afghanistan is “extremely doubtless” – a sentiment echoed by the Pentagon throughout a press briefing on Monday. 


Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned that there’s an “lively menace in numerous ways in which we’ve to be ready for.” 

Kirby added that the U.S. army has and “will proceed to have and can preserve the aptitude to guard ourselves and defend ourselves as we full the retrograde.” 

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“We’re working underneath the idea that we must be ready for future potential threats,” Kirby continued, saying that the “menace stream remains to be actual, nonetheless lively, and in lots of {cases}, remains to be particular.” 

“The menace stays excessive and stays actual,” Kirby mentioned, including that U.S. army forces on the bottom in Kabul have “labored out a really fastidiously coordinated technique of safely finishing this retrograde.” 

When requested to element that technique, Kirby replied: “We’re in a very harmful time now, not that it hasn’t all the time been harmful, however it’s significantly harmful now, and we aren’t going to element each side of our troop safety … whereas we’ve troops in harms means and whereas we attempt to get individuals out of Afghanistan.” 

With regard to ISIS-Ok, the group that claimed duty for the assault that killed 13 U.S. service members final week in a suicide bombing exterior Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, Kirby mentioned that the group poses a “dynamic, shifting, fluid, fast” menace. 

The deadline for all U.S. troops and diplomats to be out of Afghanistan is 3:29 p.m. EST Tuesday – 11:59 p.m. native time in Kabul, U.S. protection officers informed Fox Information. It should mark the primary time in almost 20 years that no U.S. troops will probably be on the bottom in Afghanistan.

Based on the White House, on Sunday, a complete of roughly 1,200 individuals had been evacuated from Kabul. The White Home mentioned that evacuation was the results of 26 U.S. army flights, 26 C-17s, which carried roughly 1,200 evacuees, and two coalition flights, which carried 50 individuals.

The White Home mentioned Monday that since Aug. 14, when the mission started, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of roughly 116,700 individuals. And for the reason that finish of July, the White Home mentioned the U.S. has relocated almost 122,300 individuals from Afghanistan.

The president had approved 6,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Afghanistan to help within the evacuation mission, because the Taliban is pushing to revive the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the formal identify of the nation underneath Taliban rule earlier than militants had been ousted by U.S.-led forces within the wake of the 9/11 assaults. The assaults on Sept. 11, 2001, had been orchestrated by al Qaeda whereas it was being sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan.


The Pentagon, on Monday, didn’t present the present variety of U.S. troops on the bottom, however maintained that the withdrawal would happen as deliberate. 

As for the airport in Kabul the place the U.S. army has been evacuating People and weak Afghans, the Pentagon mentioned it could “stay operational by way of our closing flights.” 

“What it seems to be like after we’re gone, I might simply level you to what the secretary of state mentioned,” Kirby mentioned Monday, referring to the State Division’s assertion signed by almost 100 nations, in addition to NATO and the European Union, mentioned final week they’d acquired “assurances” from the Taliban that individuals with journey paperwork will nonetheless have the ability to go away the nation. 

The Taliban has mentioned they are going to permit regular journey after the U.S. withdrawal is accomplished on Tuesday once they assume management of the airport.


“This isn’t a U.S. army perform, and never a U.S. army duty as soon as we’ve accomplished the retrograde,” Kirby mentioned. 

In the meantime, Kirby mentioned Monday that the U.S. is actively engaged in its counterterrorism efforts and can “defend the American individuals from threats that would come from Afghanistan,” whereas noting that there are additionally threats to the homeland from the Levant, North Africa, and extra. 

“We’ve got counterterrorism capabilities to thwart these threats as greatest we will,” he mentioned. 

Fox Information’ Lucas Tomlinson and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report. 

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