Taliban lays down 'red line' warning to US if it doesn't evacuate by August 31
Amidst rising tensions as civilians continue to fight for evacuation from Afghanistan, the Taliban has issued a stern warning to the US and UK, threatening of "consequences" if they fail to meet the August 31 deadline to withdraw all military forces.
News of this comes as both America and the UK are desperately engaging in the evacuation of both civilians and military. It began with President Joe Biden following through a Donald Trump signed plan to withdraw all troops, but the backlash against the current president has been severe over the decision. With a mere 2,500 Americans reportedly evacuated from Kabul among 17,000 others, Americans are furious with the way the government is handling the process.
Citizens have raised doubts on social media whether Biden can potentially meet the August 31 deadline, and clearly, the Taliban won't be allowing any leeway.
Is Salima Mazari OK? Female Afghan governor who took up arms against Taliban captured
Shabnam Mobarez's net worth: Afghan women's soccer captain urges FIFA to save her teammates
However, Biden did imply during a Sunday night press conference that an extension was under discussion. On the very next morning, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the evacuation effort is "down to hours now, not weeks." But the Taliban does not care - they want the US and the UK out by the deadline.
Taliban spokesperson Dr Suhail Shaheen said the group will not be tolerating any extension if the US and the UK carry on any 'occupation' post the deadline.
Speaking to Sky News, Shaheen said: "It's a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that. If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations - the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction."
Shaheen made the warnings on air shortly after Biden appeared to push back on the August 31 deadline, saying: "Let me be clear - the evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful. No matter when it started, when we began. It would have been true if we had started a month ago, or a month from now. There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss and heartbreaking images you see on television. It's just a fact."
While Biden asserted defence officials 'hope' there are no extensions, the possibility of one still remains hopeful. "There are going to be discussions I suspect on how far along we are in the process," said Biden, adding: "Our first priority in Kabul is getting American citizens out of the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Any American that wants to get home will get home."
Biden also added that the US government is "looking to move our Afghan allies" as well. In a virtual call on Monday, August 23, Biden is also expected to take the matter up with G7 allies along with UK's Boris Johnson, who will try and double the number of Brits, Afghan allies and families they can airlift.
Amid fears of a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport as the US and the UK frantically attempt evacuation, the Taliban has also decided that "the formation of the government and cabinet will not be announced as long as a single US soldier is present in Afghanistan." And this has left the internet in outrage. Some are slamming how "Taliban is ruling Biden....", others have mocked how "USA has become a Toothless Tiger and so called Superpower on Paper only that can be threatened easily even by Talibaan Today".
Others have however decided to mock the threat, tweeting: "I didnt realize the US took orders from the Taliban!" Some chimed in asking, "What ever happened to the US? As someone from Europe i see this once great nation now running to the tune of the butchers of Afghanistan. Wow! It would be funny if not so tragic." And then there were several who brought up Biden going on vacations amid this crisis. "Did they get an “out of office” notification since he’s on vacation??" the user asked.
Taliban is ruling Biden....— M.Paula (@mpaularfer) August 23, 2021
USA has become a Toothless Tiger and so called Superpower on Paper only that can be threatened easily even by Talibaan Today 😝😝😝🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😭😭😭😂😂😂.#ShameonUSA#Embarrasing#USA pic.twitter.com/0jQRgRxcMz— Singh Sanjeet (@SinghSanjeet21) August 23, 2021
I didnt realize the US took orders from the Taliban!— Northern Girl 508 (@508_girl) August 23, 2021
What ever happened to the US? As someone from Europe i see this once great nation now running to the tune of the butchers of Afghanistan. Wow! It would be funny if not so tragic.— Mhughes65 (@MartinH161965) August 23, 2021
Did they get an “out of office” notification since he’s on vacation??— Reality Beaker (Blue Check Mark is in the mail) (@RealityBeaker) August 23, 2021