UPDATED 2:28 PM PT – Thursday, August 19, 2021
Pentagon officials addressed the media with an update on the situation in Afghanistan. Major General Hank Taylor explained evacuation plans have continued as more than 5,200 troops touched down in Kabul.
As far as access to the airport, he said flight operations are secure and entry gates are open to expedite the process. The Major General added at least 7,000 people have been evacuated since Aug. 14, marking a total of 12,000 since July.
Taylor concluded they’re doing everything they can to maximize the transfer of civilians out of the country as quickly as possible.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby added the U.S. had a message for the terror group. “We’ve made it very clear to the Taliban that any attack upon our people and our operations at the airport will be met with a forceful response. There has been, as the General noted in his opening statement, there’s been no hostile interactions between the Taliban and our forces,” said Kirby.
Pentagon Press Sec John Kirby:
“Of the 2,000 over the last 24 hours” who have been evacuated from Afghanistan “nearly 300 of them were Americans.” pic.twitter.com/m3J0ggfrqs
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 19, 2021
He said the U.S. has been in communication with Afghans trying to leave the country and are being harassed by the Taliban. However, when reporters pressed Kirby on Americans still in harms way, he continued to defer all questions to the State Department for answers.
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