United States President Joe Biden said American military personnel and combat troops are on course to leave Afghanistan by Aug. 31, but it will depend on how the Taliban cooperates.
Biden's remarks came the same day the Taliban insurgents said it would stop Afghans from reaching Kabul airport and be evacuated and told women to stay home and "stay safe," triggering fears about how the Taliban will treat women, USA Today said.
The Taliban also warned that the U.S. must comply with the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw as frantic evacuation efforts by the West at Hamid Karzai International Airport gained momentum.
In an address from the White House Tuesday, Biden said he's pushing American troops to leave "the sooner the better" because of the growing threats from ISIS-K and other terror organizations in Kabul.
France Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said additional time beyond the deadline is necessary to carry out the evacuations.
Biden said more than 70,000 people have been airlifted since Aug. 14. Fully packed American planes are now flying out of Kabul every 40 minutes, ABC News said.
The Biden administration said around 21,600 individuals have been evacuated in the past 24 hours alone. But there is violence and chaos outside the airport, making it very hard for U.S. nationals and their Afghan allies to reach safe grounds.
In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the Aug. 31 deadline set by Biden remains unchanged. However, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other top military leaders are considering other options if that deadline is changed, Kirby said.
The Group of Seven (G7) leaders met Tuesday in the first international gathering of its kind since the Taliban overran the internationally-supported Afghan government more than a week ago.
The G7 leaders called on the Taliban insurgents to ensure the safe passage for all individuals wishing to leave Afghanistan after Aug. 31. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this as the G7's "primary condition" for the Islamic fighters.
Meanwhile, top Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have launched a resolution denouncing what they claim is Biden's "failure to heed the advice of intelligence and military advisors" about the speed and nature of the Taliban offensive," Aljazeera reported.