Photos: US leads desperate evacuation efforts in AfghanistanPhotos: US leads desperate evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

US had its biggest day of evacuation flights on Monday, as Taliban said foreign troop pullout deadline is a ‘red line’.

US troops are leading an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands of people out of Kabul after the Taliban warned they would allow foreign forces to carry out evacuations for just one more week.

The chief Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said the faster pace was due in part to coordination with Taliban commanders on getting evacuees into the airport.

A day before, the Pentagon announced that some 16,000 people had been evacuated in the 24 hours to 3am (07:00 GMT) Monday.

General Hank Taylor said 61 military, commercial and charter flights from a number of countries flew out of Hamid Karzai International in those 24 hours.

Twenty-eight US military flights ferried about 10,400 people to safety out of Taliban-held Afghanistan over that time and, over the next 12 hours, 15 more military flights brought out a further 6,660, White House officials said.

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday he would not rule out extending the evacuation beyond August 31 deadline to withdraw foreign forces.

But the Taliban has said August 31 is a “red line” that the US must not cross and that extending the American presence would “provoke a reaction”.

Since the Taliban seized Kabul on August 15 in a stunning rout of the US-backed Afghan government and military, the US has been running the evacuation in coordination with the group, who promised in a 2020 withdrawal deal that they would not attack Americans or their allies.

US had its biggest day of evacuation flights on Monday, as Taliban said foreign troop pullout deadline is a ‘red line’.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: