Biden Will Not Extend Aug. 31 Afghan Evacuation Deadline As Taliban Warns of 'Consequences' if US Stays


President Joe Biden will not extend the Aug. 31 deadline to complete the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a senior administration official said.

CNN reports that Biden made the decision “in consultation with his national security team” and after a meeting with G-7 leaders.

U.S. allies urged the president to extend the deadline to ensure that the thousands of people looking to flee the country can get out.

On Tuesday, the White House official Twitter account reported, “Between 3AM ET on 8/23 and 3AM ET on 8/24, a total of approximately 21,600 people were evacuated from Kabul. 37 US military flights carried approximately 12,700 evacuees, and 57 coalition flights carried 8,900 people.”

“Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 58,700 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 63,900 people,” the White House added.

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The decision not to extend the deadline comes as thousands of Americans and Afghan allies are waiting to be evacuated from the country.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters on Monday, “I think it’s very unlikely, given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of [special immigrant visas], the number others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders. It’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month.”

On Sunday, Biden said that he was considering extending the deadline. However, he added, “Our hope is that we will not have to extend.

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The military reportedly told Biden he had to decide by Tuesday whether or not to extend the deadline to ensure that it can withdraw the 5,800 troops and equipment in Afghanistan by the end of the month.

While Biden said he is considering an extension, the Taliban’s spokesperson Suhail Shaheen warned, “It’s a red line… 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,” he added.

Shaheen also said that an extension would “create mistrust between us” and “provoke a reaction.”

Another Taliban spokesperson said on Tuesday, “We ask Americans to change their policies, and don’t encourage Afghans to leave.”

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“We will not allow Afghans to leave, and we won’t extend that [August 31st] deadline,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News on Tuesday that the president should extend the deadline despite the Taliban’s warning, “The president needs to forget about the August 31 deadline. … Extend the deadline, get outside the perimeter, make sure that every single American who wants to leave is able to get out with our assistance and our Afghan allies.”

“The Taliban should not be allowed to tell us how long we are there to get our personnel out. That’s our decision, not theirs,” he added.

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