Kabul, Aug 23: The Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, have warned that the United States to face action if it fails to withdraw all the military troops from Afghanistan beyond the set deadline of August 31.
The evacuations are underway as the Taliban have taken control of almost the entire Afghanistan in a swift and quick manner that was predicted by almost none.
The development comes after US President Joe Biden, on Sunday, informed of discussions among his administration of possibly extending the deployment of troops for the evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline has been under discussion.
Speaking to Sky News in Doha, Taliban spokesperson Dr Suhail Shaheen said,”It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.” “If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” he further added.
Troops will stay in Afghanistan until every American evacuated: Biden
Meanwhile, Britain is urging the United States to extend its evacuation effort in Kabul beyond the current August 31 deadline, saying without the Americans other countries will have no choice but to stop their own operations to help people fleeing the Taliban takeover.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to press President Joe Biden at an emergency meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday convened by Britain. Some UK military leaders have said Britain should keep troops at Kabul airport to continue the evacuation effort even if the Americans leave.
But Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said Monday that “there is a hard reality that there would be no international airlift without the way that the US are underpinning it”.
He said that “whether or not the US can be persuaded to stay is a matter for the prime minister tomorrow in the G-7 meeting”. He said that an agreement from the Taliban would also be needed for an extension.
Britain says its forces have evacuated more than 5,700 people — chiefly UK citizens and Afghans — from Kabul in the last 10 days, 1,821 of them in the past 24 hours.
As of now Biden has not ruled out extending the airlift beyond the August 31 deadline he set before the Taliban’s swift takeover in Afghanistan, but he said he hoped it would not be necessary.
Story first published: Monday, August 23, 2021, 15:26 [IST]