Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed “incidents” of Taliban violence towards Individuals heading to the Kabul airport to flee Afghanistan .
Austin stated Sunday there have been “some powerful encounters with [the] Taliban,” simply two days after President Joe Biden denied Individuals had been having hassle attending to the airport.
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“When you’ve got an American passport, and if in case you have the fitting credentials, the Taliban has been permitting individuals to cross safely via,” Austin stated throughout a Sunday interview on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, including when pressed, “There isn’t any such factor as an absolute.”
“As we study these incidents — we actually return and have interaction the Taliban management and press dwelling to them that our expectation is that they permit, you already know, our individuals with the suitable credentials to get via the checkpoints,” he added.
The president, days earlier when requested about Individuals “who haven’t been capable of get to the airport safely,” stated, “We all know of no circumstance the place Americans are — carrying an American passport are attempting to get via to the airport.”
Biden’s response didn’t match with experiences from Afghanistan on the time he made them, and Austin contradicted these claims throughout a briefing with congressional lawmakers that afternoon as nicely, in line with Politico .
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby , additionally on Friday, confirmed that there had been some incidents of violence.
“We’ve communicated to the Taliban that that’s completely unacceptable and we wish free passage via these checkpoints for documented Individuals. … By and huge, that’s taking place,” he informed reporters.
Nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan pushed again on the notion that Biden and his protection secretary are sharing contradictory statements.
“What the president has persistently directed his workforce to do, and what he has defined, in truth, in that very press convention, is that if there are any points with the motion of Individuals via town, we’ve got handled these circumstances one after the other and resolved them, when that info is offered to us,” Sullivan stated throughout a Sunday morning interview on CNN.
He additionally stated there are nonetheless “a number of thousand” Individuals in Afghanistan making an attempt to go away, although he could not give a “exact” quantity.
The Pentagon on Sunday introduced the activation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, which offers the Division of Protection entry to industrial plane, to “increase our assist to the Division of State within the evacuation of U.S. residents and personnel, Particular Immigrant Visa candidates, and different at-risk people from Afghanistan.”
The Pentagon activated 18 plane, three every from American Airways, Atlas Air, Delta Air Strains, and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airways; and 4 from United Airways. The Pentagon doesn’t anticipate sending these planes to Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul.