The Taliban have sent a deadly warning to the US and the UK ahead of the allied forces agreed withdrawal date of August 31st, which stands at just over a week away.
The terrorist organisation has stated that August 31st remains as a “red line,” and that they will not accept any proposed extension to that date, as allied forces attempt to evacuate as many fleeing Afghans as possible.
Spokesperson Dr. Suhail Shaheen warned of retaliation against the US and the UK if soldiers remain in Afghanistan pass the withdrawal date.
President Joe Biden remains committed to reaching the August 31st deadline, whilst UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has since claimed their evacuation effort to be “down to hours, not weeks.”
War in Kabul?
Kabul airport is still currently controlled by American troops in the region, as over 20,000 Afghan nationals wait for evacuation from the nation.
However, many believe any extension to the August 31st deadline will cause an all-out war in the capital, with the airport being at the centre of events.
President Biden hit back against suggestions to extend the deadline, stating that the evacuation process will be “hard and painful.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since hinted that he may propose an extension, after revealing that discussions will take place amongst G7 leaders this week regarding an extension to the final evacuation.
Many experts also believe that some form of terrorist attack by ISIS may be imminent at Kabul airport, given the large numbers of US and UK forces in the area.
President Biden recently sent back 6,000 US troops to aid the evacuation effort, whilst Prime Minister Johnson stated that around 1,000 UK troops remain in the country, alongside government personnel and translators.
The Taliban have also announced that they will delay any revealing of the structure of their government until every allied soldier and personnel has left the country, further threatening the allies with violence if any troops remain in the country past the August 31st deadline.
President Biden announced in a press conference over the weekend that 11,000 were evacuated from Afghanistan by US forces over the last 36 hours, whilst claiming that the US have now evacuated close to 33,000 people.
He stated that the US will prioritise any American citizens that are in Afghanistan, whilst also noting that citizens of Afghan allies and NATO allies helped make up the recent evacuation number of 11,000.
US airline company’s Delta Airlines and United Airlines have already offered their assistance in flying those who have already been evacuated to their desired destination.
Meanwhile, the UK stated over the weekend that they are aiming to double their evacuation numbers this week to 12,000, however, they conceded that this plan relied on American troops maintaining control of the airport.
The UK have already stated that August 25th will be their cut-off date to rescue any Afghan refugees, in order to focus their efforts on withdrawing any remaining British troops from the area.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace stated that UK will leave the country as soon as the US does, conceding that any early withdrawal of US troops will take away the framework for a successful UK evacuation.