Boris Johnson on August 31st leaving date from Afghanistan
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Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson tweeted: “The US military has started withdrawing from Afghanistan reducing troop presence – US officials.” But the decision from US President Joe Biden to begin withdrawing troops from the crisis-hit country has sparked a furious reaction. One person raged on Twitter: “This is disgraceful!” Another said: “And our NATO allies are telling us not to. Why are we doing this?”
A third person added: “Running not withdrawing – and leaving citizens and allies behind.
“The military should take this effort over.”
While another person fumed: “Before civilians?? Seriously this is a disaster.”
Mr Biden had sent some 6,000 troops to the airport in Kabul after the Taliban took over the capital and most of the country earlier this month.
The US has begun reducing troop presence in Afghanistan ahead of August 31 withdrawal deadline (Image: EXPRESS)
The troops have been helping to evacuate American citizens, as well as Afghans deemed to be at extremely high risk, while manning the airport so several other countries can also evacuate their citizens.
But US officials said the Pentagon has recommended the President stand by his August 31 target.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement: “During a meeting this morning with the G7 leaders, the President conveyed that our mission in Kabul will end based on the achievement of our objectives.
“He confirmed we are currently on pace to finish by August 31st.”
The decision from Joe Biden to withdraw troops by August 31 has sparked anger (Image: GETTY)
Boris Johnson and other G7 leaders had earlier failed to persuade the US President to keep US troops in Afghanistan in order to continue the evacuation efforts past the end of the month.
The Prime Minister had been widely expected to press Mr Biden to change his mind, as they are providing security at Kabul airport to allow people to flee the country.
But following an emergency summit of G7 leaders to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, which was chaired by Mr Johnson, the US President insisted the deadline remained in place.
The Prime Minister said: “We will go right up until the last minute that we can but you’ve heard what the President of the United States has said, you’ve heard what the Taliban have said.”
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Boris Johnson and other G7 leaders had failed in attempts to persuade Joe Biden to change his ming (Image: GETTY)
“We’re confident we can get thousands more out, but the situation at the airport is not getting any better.”
“We have evacuated 9,000, the UK alone has taken 9,000 people out of Kabul, I think 57 flights – huge, huge effort by our military.
“We will go on right up until the last moment that we can. But you have heard what the President of the United States has had to say, you have heard what the Taliban have said.
“I think you have got to understand the context in which we’re doing this, we’re confident we can get thousands more out.
“But the situation at the airport is not getting any better, there are public order issues, it’s harrowing scenes for those who are trying to get out, and it’s tough for our military as well.”
The timeline of events leading up to the latest developments in Afghanistan (Image: EXPRESS)
Earlier on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid insisted no evacuations will be allowed after the August 31 deadline.
He told a press conference in the capital of Kabul: “August 31 is the time given and after that it’s something that is against the agreement.
“All people should be removed prior to that date.
“After that we do not allow them, it will not be allowed in our country, we will take a different stance.”