Pentagon says no change in plan to complete Afghan evacuation by Aug. 31 – Times of India

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Tuesday there had been no change so far in its plan to meet President Joe Biden’s evacuation deadline for Afghanistan by the end of the month and that it intends to withdraw the US troops by then.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Pentagon believes it has the ability to get all Americans who want to leave out of Afghanistan by August 31.
“We’re absolutely still aiming towards the end of the month,” Kirby said, while adding that the Pentagon may need additional bases to house evacuees from Afghanistan.
Kirby further said “several thousand” Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan but declined to give a more specific figure. He also said he was unable to provide the percentage of Americans in Afghanistan who have now been evacuated.
“The president’s direction has been to complete this withdrawal, this evacuation, by the 31st of August. That is the direction that we are operating under and therefore, that is driving a lot of our plans,” Kirby said.
“You heard the national security adviser say yesterday that he believes that we can accomplish this mission by the end of the month, so we are still driving towards the end of the month. That’s where we are now. If and when there’s any change to that we’ll certainly make it clear to the American people,” he said.
Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers said on Tuesday they wanted all foreign evacuations from the country completed by an August 31 deadline and they would not agree to an extension as Group of Seven leaders met to discuss the crisis.
Western troops have been working frantically to get foreigners and Afghans onto planes and out of the country and Biden has faced growing pressure from allies to negotiate more time for the airlift.

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