Advertisement
Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Joe Biden Says Afghan Evacuation One Of The Largest And Most Difficult Airlifts In History

President Biden said the US has already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since its military airlift began on August 14.

Joe Biden Says Afghan Evacuation One Of The Largest And Most Difficult Airlifts In History
President Joe Biden | File Photo
Joe Biden Says Afghan Evacuation One Of The Largest And Most Difficult Airlifts In History
outlookindia.com
2021-08-21T07:37:12+05:30

US President Joe Biden said Friday called the ongoing evacuation of US citizens and Afghan nationals who supported Americans over the last 20 years as one of the largest and most difficult airlifts in history.

President Biden said the US has already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since its military airlift began on August 14.

 At a White House news conference, Biden told reporters that this is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history, and the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the United States of America." 


He said thousands more have been evacuated on private charter flights facilitated by the US government including American citizens and permanent residents as well as their families.


It also includes Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and their families, the Afghans who have worked alongside the US, served alongside Americans, "one into combat with us, and provided invaluable assistance to the US such as translators and interpreters", he said.


The United States, he said, has secured the Kabul airport, enabling flights to resume, not just military flights, but civilian charters and from other countries and the NGOs taking out civilians and vulnerable Afghans. "We have almost 6,000 troops on the ground, including the 82nd Airborne, providing runway security, the Army 10th Mountain Division standing guard around the airport, and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assisting civilian departure," he said.


Biden asserted that the United States stands by its commitment that it has made to vulnerable Afghans such as women leaders and journalists.


Working in close coordination with the management of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the US has successfully evacuated all 204 of their employees in Afghanistan on US military aircraft earlier this week.


"We've established the flow of flights, and we've increased the number of people we're moving out of the country. We paused flights in Kabul a few hours this morning to make sure we can process the arriving evacuees at the transit points. But our commander in Kabul has already given the order for outbound flights to resume," he said.


Even with the pause, the US moved out 5,700 evacuees Thursday, he said, adding his administration is working to ascertain the exact number of Americans in Afghanistan.


A day earlier, among the many Americans evacuated, there were 169 Americans who got over the wall into the airport using military assets, he said.


"We're also facilitating flights for our allies and our partners and working in close operational coordination with NATO on this evacuation. For example, we provided overwatch for the French convoy bringing hundreds of their people from the French Embassy to the airport. These operations are going to continue over the coming days before we complete our drawdown," he said.


"We're going to do everything, everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if -- because of their association of the United States. But let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” he said.

(PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Verses From Mon | A Poet's Ode To The Victims Of Nagaland Firing

Verses From Mon | A Poet's Ode To The Victims Of Nagaland Firing

Beni Sumer Yanthan (Yanbeni ) is a poet and folklorist from Nagaland's Mon belonging to the Lotha-Naga and War-Jaintia tribe of Meghalaya. Her poetries illustrate deep anguish of AFSPA victims.

Aung San Suu Kyi Verdict: How It Is Going To Change India-Myanmar Nexus

Aung San Suu Kyi Verdict: How It Is Going To Change India-Myanmar Nexus

While India has time and again appealed for rapprochement between the democratic forces and the military, it has continued to engage with the junta in Myanmar.

Gabba Test, Day 2: Head, Warner Punish ENG; AUS Lead By 196

Gabba Test, Day 2: Head, Warner Punish ENG; AUS Lead By 196

Catch Day 2 highlights of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba. Australia were 343/7 at the close of play with Travis Head unbeaten on 112.

Aung San Suu Kyi: A Life In Exile

Aung San Suu Kyi: A Life In Exile

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent nearly two decades of her life in exile. Daughter of prominent Burmese politicians, Suu Kyi first rose to prominence as a political force after the ‘8888 Uprising’ in August 1998.

Advertisement