The government of Joe Biden assured on Wednesday that the Taliban were violating their commitments and blocking the access of Afghans to the Kabul airport, in the middle of the evacuation efforts organized by the American troops.
“Contrary to their public statements and commitments to our government, we have reports that the Taliban are blocking the roads to prevent Afghans who want to leave from reaching the airport,” Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said at a press conference today afternoon.
American diplomats in Doha and military officials in Kabul “are contacting the Taliban directly to make it clear that we hope they will allow all American citizens, all third-country nationals, and all Afghans who wish to leave to do so safely and without harassment” she added.
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, said the Taliban are allowing American citizens to arrive at Kabul airport to leave the country.
“The Taliban are facilitating safe passage to the airport for American citizens,” and clarified that it will only be for “those who have U.S. passports,” he said Wednesday in another press conference.
U.S. military forces secured the Kabul airport to transport its citizens and people fearing Taliban reprisals after the Afghan government collapsed over the weekend.
The fall of Kabul to the Taliban came as President Joe Biden ordered the completion of the withdrawal of military troops on Aug. 31 after two decades of intervention, believing the U.S.-trained Afghan army “was ready to resist the Taliban.”
“There was nothing that I, nor anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in eleven days,” Milley said.
The U.S. considered several scenarios in Afghanistan
In fact, he explained that U.S. intelligence had warned of “several scenarios” that were likely: “One of them was a rapid rise of the Taliban after a rapid collapse of the Afghan security forces and the government,” he said.
He added that other possible scenarios contemplated “a civil war and a negotiated agreement.”
Milley noted that although reinforcements have been sent to Afghanistan to ensure airport security and evacuations, “the situation is still very dangerous, very dynamic and very fluid.”
“Right now there are troops at risk,” the general warned, although he immediately remarked that the situation is stable at the airport.
The general said that if there is any threat, the United States “will take military action immediately and without hesitation.”