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23rd Aug 2021

Taliban warns Britain and US to get out of Afghanistan by August 31

Danny Jones

Taliban warns Britain and US to leave Afghanistan by August 31st

The Taliban has said there will be consequences should British and US forces not leave by the end of the month

An ultimatum is imposed as the Taliban warns Britain and America that “consequences” will come if troops from both nations do not leave Afghanistan by August 31st.

Taliban officials have said that the withdrawal deadline is a “red line” and that military personnel will “provoke a reaction if they are intent on continuing the occupation”.

One of the group’s spokespeople, Suhail Shaheen – who was heard on the other end of that extraordinary phone call with BBC reporter, Yalda Hakim – said that the group will not extend the deadline for evacuation after President Joe Biden admitted that more time might be needed to pull everyone out by the end of the month as planned.

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.”

In response, Biden was reported as saying that the evacuation process is going to be “hard and painful”, with serious discussions as to how long it will take. He added that “our hope is we will not have to” have such talks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to press him and other G7 leaders tomorrow via a virtual call – the hope being that he can convince US troops to stay beyond the deadline and evacuate as many people as possible. This, of course, runs the risk of retaliation from the Taliban but thousands of displaced civilians are still trapped in the country following the takeover.

Biden stated that around said 11,000 people were lifted out of Kabul in less than 36 hours – 823 Afghans on one plane according to Forbes – after he faced criticism not only for his handling of the whole situation but the level of evacuation, specifically.

He added that “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.” Meanwhile, the UK is expected to receive around 20,000 refugees as part of the mass exodus and hope to double their evacuations numbers to 12,000 this week.

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