President Biden on Tuesday told world leaders that he has decided to stick to an Aug. 31 deadline for removing all US troops from Afghanistan.
The decision, which was reported by the Associated Press, may strand US citizens and Afghans who helped the US military following an announcement from the Taliban that the withdrawal date is non-negotiable.
Biden made the announcement during a morning video conference with fellow G7 leaders.
About 5,200 US troops are in Kabul helping with an airlift out of the Afghan capital following the Taliban’s capture of the city last week.
Biden has pledged to evacuate all US citizens who want to leave, though some are telling news outlets they cannot reach the airport.
According to a White House official, as of Tuesday morning about 58,700 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14.
About 21,600 people were evacuated in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday morning, the official said. At least three babies have been born on evacuation flights, a US Army general said Monday.
But there remains great uncertainty about the number of Americans trapped behind Taliban lines.
A senior US official told The Post on Monday that the White House estimates about 4,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan, meaning that thousands may remain in Taliban-held areas.
The official said that the Pentagon initially estimated there were 8,000-10,000 Americans in Afghanistan and the State Department estimated 10,000-15,0000 US citizens.
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