On Saturday, US President Joe Biden raised the number of US forces sent to Afghanistan to participate in the evacuation of embassy staff and Afghan civilians, warning the Taliban movement advancing to Kabul not to obstruct this mission.
Biden said that after consulting with his national security team, he decided to send “about five thousand” US soldiers, ie two thousand more than the scheduled number, explaining that these soldiers will be deployed in Afghanistan to organize the evacuation and end the American mission after twenty years of field operations.
Biden again defended his decision to withdraw the US army from Afghanistan, saying, “I am the fourth president to take office in light of the presence of American forces in Afghanistan,” stressing, “I will not bequeath this war to a fifth president.”
On Saturday, a new force of American soldiers arrived in Kabul for evacuations.
US Central Command spokesman, Commandant Bill Urban, said that after the arrival of a first force of Marines on Friday, US soldiers “continue” to land in Kabul to evacuate diplomats and Afghans who had dealt with the United States and feared Taliban retaliation.
He did not specify the number of soldiers, nor did he say whether the evacuation of diplomats from the US embassy in Kabul had begun.
Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the United States plans to evacuate “thousands of people a day” and expects “the majority of the 3,000 personnel to arrive by the end of the week.”
This week, about 4,200 people work at the US embassy in Kabul, where thousands of Afghan interpreters and others who have helped US forces are seeking to leave, fearing Taliban reprisals.
The Pentagon estimates that about 30,000 people will need to be evacuated by August 31, with the deadline set by President Joe Biden to complete the withdrawal from this country.
On Saturday, Taliban militants took control of the city of Mazar-i-Sharif and became on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Atiqullah Ghayur, who lives next to the famous Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, said that the Taliban insurgents were “celebrating on their vehicles and motorbikes, shooting in the air,” noting that Afghan forces withdrew from the city.