US president says troops are committed to staying in Afghanistan until last citizen is evacuated.
ANKARA (AA) – US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that chaos was unavoidable after American forces withdrew from Afghanistan.
Asked by ABC News whether the US exit could have been handled better, Biden said: “No, I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that — we’re gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.”
“Now exactly what happened, I’ve not priced in,” he said. “Look, one of the things we didn’t know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out. What they would do. What are they doing now?”
“They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera, but…we’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there.”
Regarding the images of hundreds of people packed in Kabul airport, Biden said: “What I thought was, we have to gain control of this. We have to move this more quickly. We have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport. And we did.”
Biden said they are committed to staying in Afghanistan until the last citizen is evacuated, but he said this does not mean that they will stay after Aug. 31, but if they need to, they will plan how many troops will stay for how long.
The war between the Taliban and Afghan forces intensified as foreign troops announced their withdrawal from the country by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed New York City’s World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon and brought down an airliner near Shanksville, Pennsylvania which led to the US invasion of Afghanistan.
The Taliban made rapid military advances in recent weeks and took control of the capital on Sunday as Afghan government forces fled or surrendered. Former President Ashraf Ghani also left the country.