10th Mountain Division Soldiers surrounding Kabul airport, Biden says

International

A satellite photo from Maxar Technologies shows swarms of people on the tarmac at Kabul International Airport, also known as Hamid Karzai International Airport, Monday Aug. 16, 2021. Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of the capital’s airport on Monday as thousands tried to flee the country after the Taliban seized power with stunning speed. Some clung to the side of a U.S. military transport plane before takeoff, in a widely shared video that captured the sense of desperation as America’s 20-year war comes to a chaotic end. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on Friday to address the chaotic evacuation of Americans and allies from Afghanistan.

During his press conference, Biden confirmed that Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division are currently surrounding the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Biden also stated that he has had daily communications with all U.S. Military commanders on the ground in Afghanistan.

Currently, over 5,000 U.S. troopers are on the ground at the Kabul airport to assist in evacuating people from the country. The U.S. Department of State has also sent additional teams to speed up visa processing.

The U.S. Military also reported on Thursday that it has evacuated about 3,000 people from the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, 350 of which are American citizens. However, this is claimed to be well short of the goal of between 5,000 and 9,000 people daily.

The process is currently being hindered by Taliban militants and barriers have prompted chaos and panic. Department of Defense officials said the Taliban has not targeted U.S. troops.

The Kabul airport has been the focus of intense international efforts to get out foreigners, Afghan allies and other Afghans most at risk of reprisal from the Taliban insurgents.

At the current rate, it would be difficult to evacuate all of the Americans and qualifying Afghans by the withdrawal goal of August 31. President Joe Biden has said troops will stay on the ground until every American seeking to leave it out of Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Pentagon officials added the August 31 deadline stands and that changes would require further discussions with the Taliban.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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