(Kabul) In the face of the evacuation chaos in Kabul and under pressure from his allies, Joe Biden opened the door to meet the soldiers on the scheduled date.
Posted on Aug 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm Updated at 5:22 pm
David FOX Agence France-Presse
“There are talks between us and the military about the extension. We hope not to have to extend it, but there will probably be discussions about the status of the evacuation process, ”said the US President on Sunday evening when London announced the holding of a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday. for urgent talks on Afghanistan ”.
The chaos caused by the influx of tens of thousands of desperate Afghans into Kabul airport on Sunday left seven dead.
Since invading Kabul on August 15, the Islamists have tried to convince the population that they have changed, claiming their policies will be less brutal than when they were in office from 1996 to 2001. But that stops the tide of those who do not believe in their promises and want to leave.
“America with all its strength and equipment […], failed to bring order to the airport. There is peace and quiet throughout the country, but chaos prevails at Kabul airport […] It has to end as soon as possible, ”accused a senior Taliban official, Amir Khan Mutaqi, on Sunday.
“Take us with you! ”
A journalist, one of a group of press workers and academics who were fortunate enough to gain access to the airport on Sunday, described scenes of utterly desperate Afghans clutching their bus as they entered.
“They showed us their passports and shouted: ‘Take us with you, please take us with you,'” the journalist told AFP.
Still hoping for a miracle, families remain crammed between the barbed wire that separates the Taliban from American troops, and access to the airport remains very difficult.
On Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country is chairing the G7, considered “the international community to work together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and help the Afghan people make progress over the past twenty Years to protect ”, is important. .
The day before, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell had considered it “impossible” to evacuate all Afghan collaborators of the Western powers before August 31, without ruling out the possibility of the Americans “changing their minds” and staying away from the date.
Several human rights organizations have also called on Joe Biden to extend the deadline for the United States to withdraw.
More than 30,000 people have already been evacuated
About 30,300 people have been evacuated since August 14, the White House said on Sunday, while Washington hopes to exfiltrate up to 15,000 Americans, but also 50,000 to 60,000 Afghans and their families.
Thousands of foreigners of other nationalities, but also Afghans who are threatened or who have worked for the Allies, are waiting to be evacuated by the Western powers.
Washington confiscated the planes of several private airlines to help with the evacuation. These planes will not take off from Kabul Airport, but will help transport evacuated people to third countries such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.
Russian President Vladimir Poutine called on Sunday to prevent an influx of refugees from Afghanistan, among whom, in his opinion, “fighters in disguise” could hide. “But who can be (hidden) among these refugees, how can we know? He estimates that “hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands or maybe millions” of people want to flee the country.
Offensive against Panchir
The Taliban entered Kabul without resistance on August 15 after a lightning offensive that began in May after the withdrawal of American and NATO forces began.
In the Panchir Valley northeast of Kabul, a nose of resistance has formed that has long been known as an anti-Taliban stronghold. This National Resistance Front (FNR) is led in particular by Ahmad Massoud, the son of commandant Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was murdered by Al-Qaida in 2001.
On Sunday the Taliban announced the start of a major offensive against the Panchir Valley, the only area that still offers resistance.
“Hundreds of mujahideen in the Islamic emirate are moving to Panchir state to control it after local officials refused to surrender it peacefully,” the Taliban said on their Arab Twitter account.
A spokesman for the FNR, Ali Maisam Nazary, told AFP that the front was preparing for a “long-term conflict” with the Taliban. According to him, thousands of Afghans have joined the Panchir Valley to fight the new regime.
“We are ready to defend Afghanistan and warn of a bloodbath,” Massoud told Al-Arabiya on Sunday.