A Taliban spokesman said NATO forces would cross a “red line” if they did not leave Afghanistan by August 31. British forces are embroiled in a rescue mission to save thousands of Afghans after the Taliban captured the country
Image: EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)
The Taliban have announced that there will be “consequences” if troops are not withdrawn by the end of the month.
A Taliban spokesman spoke out as Britain rushed to air freight 12,000 desperate people from Afghanistan.
Dr. Suhail Shaheen said NATO forces would cross a “red line” if they stayed past August 31.
Shaheen said, “All forces should withdraw within the announced schedule – August 31st.”
He said that after commercial flights reopen, people could still flee the country, adding, “You can evacuate anyone through commercial flights with visas issued by the country in question.”
Stranded Afghans fear that they will be denied visas as many of the Western embassies are closed.
Sergei Savostyanov / TASS)
Sky News reports that Shaheen also said, “If the US or UK looked for extra time to evacuate – the answer is no.” Or there would be consequences.
“It will create suspicion between us. If they want to continue the occupation, it will generate a response.”
British Military Secretary James Heappey warned Monday that Kabul could become a war zone if US and British forces fail to meet the Taliban’s deadline.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said evacuation efforts from Kabul are “now limited to hours, not weeks,” and said Britain’s involvement in the rescue mission will end when the US leaves Afghanistan.
He said, “It’s really important for people to understand that the United States has over 6,000 people at Kabul Airport and if they pull back it will take away the frame … and we have to go too.
“We’re really limited to hours now, not weeks, and we have to make sure we use every minute to get people out.
“It is in the interests of the Taliban to keep the country open, there are border crossings to Islamabad and in Pakistan to some other neighboring countries that are open.
“I think the Taliban want the airport to work, and that means that in the not too distant future, those entitled will be able to leave the country and travel to the Emirates and other parts either by land or even by air.” the world that has been the norm to this day. “
No. 10 said “field talks” had been held with the Taliban to extend the evacuation period, but officials were still working towards a deadline by the end of the month.
AFP via Getty Images)
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Given that the Americans provide most of the security and facilitate the functioning of the airport in Kabul, and since we have previously discussed a whereabouts with other NATO countries and this has turned out to be impractical Option has proven that we need the airport just like the Americans.
“We will let the evacuation process run for as long as the security situation allows.”
Britain will double its airlifts in Kabul to 12,000 this week. Almost 6,000 British, Afghan workers and their families have since been flown out of the air by the RAF, but there are plans to fly out another 6,000.
Britain says its armed forces have evacuated more than 5,700 people from Jabul in the past 10 days, although more are steadily advancing.
On Sunday, British forces searched thousands of Afghans desperate to leave the country while armed Taliban stood guard. Troops are reportedly relying on jihad fighters to keep the peace at Kabul airport as evacuation attempts continue.
According to NATO estimates, around 20 people were killed in evacuation operations around Kabul Airport.
British paratroopers are trying to deal with the chaos at the airport as they fear the evacuation mission could collapse in days after a number of people were killed trying to escape the Taliban.
Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said the UK would continue to work to repatriate people in Afghanistan once troops are home. He also warned that the events of the past few weeks “will have consequences for all of us in the years to come”.