The Pentagon begins to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan as deadlines approach


About 400 US troops left Afghanistan, holding Kabul’s airport and leaving smaller units to carry out sporadic rescue missions.

The army is a mixture of non-combatants and soldiers who were airlifted after the Taliban hijacked the country to assist in the evacuation of non-combatants and soldiers who were already there before terrorist groups attacked Afghan troops and occupied Kabul’s presidential residence. was.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. Vasely decided, “He doesn’t need them anymore.”

Kirby described the army as “a force that enables headquarters staff, maintainers, and several others.”

Vasely oversees missions in Afghanistan, where US troops compete to evacuate Americans and Afghanistan before the August 31 withdrawal deadline imposed by President Joe Biden earlier this year and reaffirmed on Tuesday. doing.

Kabul’s power is currently 5,400, down about 400 from its peak.

Most US troops had left Afghanistan by the Taliban’s occupation of the country on August 14, but thousands have returned to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport and evacuate Americans and others.

Some troops are on a mission to catch those who cannot reach the airport, surrounded by Taliban militants.

Major Hank Taylor told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. He said the U.S. military rescued a group of less than 20 people and safely took them to the airport.

It was not clear if any of the groups were American.

Epoch Times Photo
The US Marine Corps will provide assistance at evacuation management checkpoints while evacuating at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan on August 22, 2021. (US Marine Corps / Staff Sergeant Victor Mansila, via Reuters)

A similar mission was launched the day before, including multi-choice permission to a nearby Baron Hotel to rescue a group of 169 people.

According to Kirby, Tuesday’s plans were postponed by a secret visit by two members, Seth Moulton (Republican) and Peter Meyer (Republican). Representatives needed to talk to and protect the army and commanders.

Moulton and Meyer said in a joint statement that it would not be possible to complete the evacuation by September 11, and the deadline for August 31 would be much shorter. However, the United States is moving forward to escape by the end of the month after President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that a deadline remains in Washington.

According to Biden, the current pace of evacuation depends on coordination with the Taliban, increasing the risk from external groups, including ISIS-K, an ISIS member. The Taliban militants blocked some Americans and Afghans, and some assaulted those trying to pass the checkpoint.

If the deadline doesn’t change, the drawdown is likely to continue, as the troops will need at least a few days to “safely and effectively age” their troops and equipment, Kirby said this week. ..

Taylor said the last day before the deadline would include evacuation, but would focus on the removal of troops and equipment.

US allies have tried to persuade Biden to postpone the deadline, but so far have not succeeded. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Tuesday that when US troops leave, if they want to continue evacuating, other countries must leave as well.

French officials added on Wednesday that the country would have to finish its evacuation “days or days” by August 31, given the “complete withdrawal” of foreign troops.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.