President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the United States would complete the war in Afghanistan by August 31, and that the military would continue to provide funding, equipment and humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.
“Most critically … Afghan leaders must unite to push for a future that the Afghan people want and deserve,” Biden said at a press conference in Washington.
The presidential statement comes when the Taliban terrorist group has made significant progress in the last few weeks following the decision to withdraw from the United States. Biden announced a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in April, essentially ending the longest war the United States fought.
The Pentagon has said that more than 90 percent of the withdrawal process has been completed so far. But at the same time, the Taliban have made great strides on the battlefield over the past few weeks and captured US military vehicles used by distressed Afghan troops.
Biden said in a speech that more than 300,000 members of the Afghan army had been trained by the U.S. military over the last two decades. “All the tools and training equipment of the modern army.”
“We didn’t go to Afghanistan to build the country,” said the president. “Determining their future and how they want to run their country is the sole right and responsibility of the Afghan people.”
Biden was asked by reporters if he believed the Taliban would take over Afghanistan altogether. In response, Biden said he did not expect that to happen because the Afghan army was equipped “against something like the 75,000 Taliban,” adding that it was “unavoidable” for the group to take over. Taliban.
The president also said that relocation flights for Afghan translators and contractors who worked with the US military would be offered in the near future. As for where they end up, the government “identified facilities outside the United States and in third countries,” Biden said.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Taliban’s leadership over the nation collapsed in 2001. The group was accused of containing Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of terrorism. Osama bin Laden was killed during a raid in neighboring Pakistan about 10 years later.
“The United States did what it did in Afghanistan,” Biden said, referring to bin Laden’s murder.
Meanwhile, Afghan troops regained control of the western capital, which was attacked by the Taliban the day before, on Thursday. According to officials, fighting continued around Qala-e-Nau, the capital of Badghis, which borders Central Asian country Turkmenistan. Reuters..
“The city is completely (back) under our control and we are operating against the Taliban on the outskirts of the city,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman.
The Taliban’s progress was particularly dramatic in the northern states where they had long been unattended. Stop-start peace talks between the government and armed groups are not yet definitive.
Separately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Thursday that most British troops had left the country, claiming that the al-Qaeda threat had been significantly reduced.
“We must be realistic only about our ability to influence the course of the event. To help the Afghan people build their future, it is in many countries, including Afghan neighbors. Will require joint efforts, “Johnson said at a press conference. “But the threat that brought us to Afghanistan in the first place was greatly diminished by courage and the sacrifice of troops in Britain and many other countries.”
Reuters contributed to this report.