This is the moment evacuees including women and children airlifted from Kabul airport arrive at their temporary accommodation in Kuwait where they will be housed whilst they await transfers to their final destinations.
The evacuees disembarking from a bus and making their way over to their allotted temporary accommodation had just been airlifted from Kabul airport and arrived at an undisclosed location in Kuwait on Sunday (22nd August).
The evacuation of U.S. nationals and Afghans who have applied for Special Immigrant Visas based on their years of cooperation with the U.S. State and Defense departments is now moving into its final phase as the deadline for the U.S to withdraw from Afghanistan on the 31st of this month draws closer.
This week leaders from G7 countries called on President Biden to delay the evacuation deadline as they worry it doesn’t leave them enough time to get everyone out safely.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson led G7 efforts to persuade President Biden to delay the withdrawal deadline.
President Biden has so far been unwilling to delay the withdrawal and the Taliban have themselves threatened reprisals if U.S troops remain on the ground past the end of the month.
Having failed to convince Biden into granting an extension Johnson said the G7 would use its “considerable leverage” to urge the Taliban to guarantee a safe passage for evacuees up to the 31st August deadline and beyond.
The White House made a statement yesterday (24th August) saying that the U.S was on course to complete the evacuation by the end of the month.
Despite the optimism surrounding the withdrawal Jen Psak, the White House press secretary left the door open for potentially delaying the date by saying the withdrawal will “end based on the achievement of our objectives”.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, told reporters yesterday that: “We want [the US] to evacuate all foreign nationals by 31 August and we are not in favour of allowing Afghans to leave. We will not be extending the deadline.”
Mujahid suggested that the Taliban would start preventing locals from making their way to Kabul airport after he said: “The road to Kabul airport is closed for locals and open to foreigners. We fully reassure the locals and then tell them to return to their homes.”
Al-Jazeera reports that about 20,000 people have been evacuated by the U.S and its allies in the last 24 hours whilst the White House said in a tweet today that: “Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 70,700 people.”