Washington: Afghanistan Evacuations in Numbers
The Pentagon has revealed the number of Afghans and Americans evacuated from Afghanistan since the operations began last month, and the goal is to have all US forces evacuated from Kabul by August 31.
According to the Pentagon, around 16,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan via Kabul airport in the last 24 hours, as the US attempts to meet the August 31 deadline for completing its airlifts.
General Hank Taylor, Deputy Director of the Joint Regional Operations, told reporters that 61 military, commercial, and charter flights from various countries took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in the 24 hours following the "Taliban's" takeover.
Taylor stated that out of the total number of people evacuated that day, 11,000 were transported by US military airlift operations.
The main goal
According to Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby, since July, 42,000 people have been transported from Afghanistan on US flights, with 37,000 of them since the heavy airlift operations began as the "Taliban" advanced toward Kabul.
He went on to say that in the last few hours, 15 US military aircraft and 34 civilian planes from various countries took off from Kabul Airport, evacuating 10,900 individuals, 6,600 of whom were evacuated through military jets.
Kirby refused to say how many Americans were evacuated, emphasizing that the goal remains to withdraw all US forces from Kabul by August 31, the date set by US President Joe Biden to finish the military pullout from Afghanistan.
In this context, Washington's NATO allies argued against pausing the airlifts for a few days before August 31 to allow the evacuation of 5,800 US troops stationed at Kabul Airport.
Will Washington extend the deadline?
Kirby mentioned that there is a possibility of extending the deadline by Washington. Furthermore, he emphasized that the goal of the United States is to evacuate people as fast as possible by the end of the month.
Is "Taliban" transporting US military equipment to Pakistan?
In reaction to accusations that the "Taliban" was transporting US military equipment to Pakistan, the Pentagon stated that it is in frequent contact with the regional partners and encourages all parties to contribute in ways that strengthen stability and security in Afghanistan and the region.
Washington and London
Concerning the rumors about the tensions between Washington and London regarding the withdrawal, Kirby stated that "the defense relationship between the United States and Britain is still secured and positive," adding that his country works closely and communicates frequently with all its allies, and not just Britain.
Kirby reiterated that civilians were sadly killed in the vicinity of the Airport, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is reviewing all available information regarding the C-17.