Kabul: A chaotic race to help tens of thousands of people escape Taliban-run Afghanistan was boosted on Monday with the United States ordering its commercial airlines to help, though President Joe Biden flagged the evacuations could go beyond next week’s deadline.
Since the Taliban marched into Kabul and took effective control of Afghanistan on August 15, the U.S. military has supervised the evacuation of approximately 30,000 people, after the government army collapsed at an alarming rate.
During the initial rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban were notorious for their ultra-strict interpretations of Islamic law, and this time they vowed to adopt a more moderate version.
But the terrified Afghans continued to try to escape, crushing the U.S.-led military operation at Kabul Airport and leading to the tragic scene of at least seven deaths.
The victory of the Taliban ended the two decades-long war because they used Biden to decide to withdraw almost all American troops from the country.
Biden had to redeploy thousands of people back to Afghanistan to supervise the evacuation.
He insisted that he hoped to end the U.S. military presence and airlift by August 31.
But because the European Union and the United Kingdom stated that it would be impossible for everyone to leave by then, Biden is under pressure to extend the deadline.
Biden said in a speech at the White House on Sunday that he hopes that the airlift will not be extended, but said that negotiations are underway to explore this possibility.
“We and the military are discussing the extension,” Biden said.
He admitted that there were scorching scenes at the airport, which included infants and children being passed to soldiers through barbed wire, and men clinging to the outside of the plane about to take off.
But he said they are part of the departure cost.
“There is no way to evacuate so many people without the pain, loss and heartbreaking pictures you have seen,” he said.
In order to strengthen air transportation, the US government ordered six major commercial airlines to fly back to the United States those who had evacuated from Kabul to bases in the US Gulf and Europe.
Overcrowding at these bases has slowed down flights from Kabul and sometimes even stopped.