U.S. evacuation flights from Kabul are slowing, officials informed Fox News Monday, only a day before President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and full the mission to evacuate American residents and susceptible Afghans from the nation.
The flights, in keeping with officials, are persevering with, however at a decreased tempo, forward of Biden’s deadline. Those officials, although, add that it’s not correct to say the U.S. evacuation flights “have ended.”
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 officials informed Fox News. It will mark the primary time in almost 20 years that no U.S. troops will probably be on the bottom in Afghanistan.
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According to the White House, on Sunday, a complete of roughly 1,200 folks have been evacuated from Kabul. The White House mentioned that evacuation was the end result of 26 U.S. navy flights, 26 C-17s, which carried roughly 1,200 evacuees, and two coalition flights, which carried 50 folks.
The White House mentioned Monday that since Aug. 14, when the mission started, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of roughly 116,700 folks. And because the finish of July, the White House mentioned the U.S. has relocated almost 122,300 folks from Afghanistan.
The president had licensed 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 beneath Taliban rule before militants have been ousted by U.S.-led forces within the wake of the 9/11 assaults. The assaults on Sept. 11, 2001, have been orchestrated by al Qaeda whereas it was being sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But early Monday, 5 rockets have been fired on the Kabul airport, and intercepted by a U.S. C-RAM missile protection system, a protection official informed Fox News.
And final week, 11 U.S. Marines, one U.S. Army soldier and a U.S. Navy corpsman died in a suicide bombing exterior Hamid Karzai International Airport. The ISIS-Okay group claimed duty for the assault, looking for to disrupt the large evacuation effort of Americans, Afghan allies and third-party nationals exterior the U.S.-held airport.
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President Biden has determined to not lengthen the Aug. 31 deadline, when U.S. troops are set to be withdrawn and the U.S. is ready to finish its two-week-long airlift and evacuation effort, sticking to his preliminary description of the mission, which he mentioned can be “brief in time, restricted in scope and centered on our goals: get our folks and our allies as shortly and as safely as doable.”
The Biden administration has confronted widespread criticism over its execution of the U.S. navy withdrawal from Afghanistan and its actions throughout and after the collapse of Kabul, which accomplished the Taliban’s retaking of the nation 20 years after their ouster by U.S.-led forces.
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The president has repeatedly defended his plan, whilst tons of of U.S. residents and hundreds of Afghan allies and Afghans susceptible to Taliban reprisal stay caught within the nation.
The State Department, in an announcement signed by almost 100 international locations, in addition to NATO and the European Union, mentioned final week that they had obtained “assurances” from the Taliban that folks with journey paperwork will nonetheless be capable to depart the nation. The Taliban has mentioned they are going to permit regular journey after the U.S. withdrawal is accomplished on Tuesday after they assume management of the airport.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin, Ronn Blitzer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.