The White House hastily postponed the first face-to-face meeting between President Joe Biden and the new Israeli Prime Minister on Thursday, after which he canceled a video conference with the governor of the next Afghan refugee. More than 12 people were killed in an explosion outside Kabul AirportIncludes several US service members.
Biden was scheduled to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who will visit the United States for the first time since taking office. Biden also planned to effectively meet with a group of bipartisan governors who said they wanted to help Afghan refugees settle in the country currently controlled by the Taliban.
However, deadly progress in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, forced the White House to break the president’s schedule. He monitored the situation at the airport set to eliminate American citizens and troops from Afghanistan by Tuesday’s deadline.
According to the White House, the meeting between Biden and Bennett was postponed indefinitely, but the governor’s meeting was cancelled. The regular briefing by government health professionals scheduled for Thursday has also been postponed.
Self-destruct terrorists and shooters targeted a crowd near Kabul Airport on Thursday, the final day of a large airlift that attracted thousands of people trying to escape the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
Several people, including the US Marine Corps, were killed, the US and other officials said. Members of the US military were also among the injured. Authorities discussed ongoing activities, subject to anonymity.
US officials said the attack was “definitely believed” to have been carried out by a group of Islamic State. Afghanistan’s affiliates of the Islamic State group were born of dissatisfied Taliban members who have a more extreme view of Islam.
In Washington, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called on Chairman Nancy Pelosi to reopen the conference room to consider a bill banning the withdrawal of the United States until all Americans leave Afghanistan. Such a return is unlikely, as Democrats affiliated with Biden have majority control.
Despite strong pressure to extend Tuesday’s deadline, Biden repeatedly cited the threat of terrorist attacks on civilians and US military personnel as a reason to keep his plans.
The explosion exploded when the United States worked to expel the rest of the Americans out of the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that as many as 1,500 Americans could be waiting to evacuate.
Los Wilson, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, declined to comment when asked during an interview with ABC News about reports that evacuation could end on Friday.
Wilson said there is “a safe way to go” to the airport for Americans who still want to leave. He added that “there will definitely be” Afghans at risk of not leaving before Biden’s deadline.
Airlift continued on Thursday, despite warnings of a bomb threat from vehicles near the airport. The White House said 13,400 people had been evacuated in the 24 hours that ended early Thursday morning in Washington time. Among them were 5,100 on US military aircraft and 8,300 on coalition and partner aircraft. This is a significant reduction from 19,000 units that were always airlifted the day before.
Blinken emphasized in a State Department briefing Wednesday: “Evacuation of Americans is our number one priority.”
When Biden plans to withdraw the last of thousands of U.S. troops, he further states, “We will also eliminate as many Afghans at risk as possible by the 31st. I promise. “
The US Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert on Wednesday to warn American citizens away from three specific airport gates. U.S. officials said the warning was related to Islamic State and certain ongoing threats, including potential vehicle bombs.
According to Blinken, the State Department said about 6,000 Americans wanted to leave Afghanistan at the start of airlift on August 14, as the Taliban occupied the capital after a spectacular military conquest. According to Blinken, about 4,500 Americans have been evacuated so far, and some of the rest are “naturally very scary.”
The 6,000 figure is the first solid estimate by the State Department of how many Americans were trying to escape. Early US officials in the evacuation estimated that as many as 15,000 people, including dual citizens, lived in Afghanistan. This number does not include US green card holders.
About 500 Americans were instructed when and how to arrive at the chaotic Kabul Airport and board an evacuation flight.
In addition, less than 1,000 people have been contacted to determine if they still want to leave. Blinken said some of these may have already left the country, some may want to remain, and some may not actually be American citizens.
Associated Press writer Lolita C. Bardor of Washington and James Laporta of Boca Raton, Florida contributed to this report.
Biden monitors Afghanistan’s violence and delays new Israeli Prime Ministers’ meeting | World News
Source link Biden monitors Afghanistan’s violence and delays new Israeli Prime Ministers’ meeting | World News