As the large US presence at Kabul’s airport in the Afghan capital continues amid a massive airlift of NATO assets, the risk of an attack against them by ISIS-Khorasan, the local Daesh franchise, increases, the White House said on Tuesday.
“With each day of operations on the ground, we have added risk to our troops with increasing threats from ISIS-K,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a Tuesday statement about US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Group of Seven leaders.
Speaking with reporters later on Tuesday, Psaki said the deadline for the final US withdrawal from Afghanistan is still August 31, but that civilian evacuations would have to end before then in order to remove the roughly 4,000 troops on time. However, the itinerary is subject to change depending on certain factors, she said.
Psaki said that with more than 57,000 people evacuated from Hamid Karzai International Airport over the last week, the airlift was on track to become the largest such operation in US history. However, reporters were concerned that the Taliban had begun turning people away from the airport. Psaki stated that the administration had “conveyed to the Taliban” that evacuees “should be able to get to the airport.”
“Our expectation and what we will continue to convey directly through a range of channels we have is that the individuals, the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, those who are eligible, those…