President Biden on Americans In Afghanistan: 'We Will Get You Home'
By Jason Hall
August 20, 2021
While delivering remarks from the White House on Friday (August 20), President Biden provided an update on evacuation efforts, noting about 13,000 people have been evacuated since the U.S. military lift began on August 14 and promised to get any American who wants to come home back from Afghanistan.
"Let me be clear: any American who wants to come home, we will get you home," Biden said via CNN.
Biden claimed that while reports have shown chaotic scenes outside Hamid Karzai International Airport amid the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the U.S. is continuing to participate in one of the most difficult airlifts in history.
"I cannot promise what the final outcome will be ... or that it will be without risk of loss," Biden added. "But as commander in chief, I can promise you I will mobilize every resource necessary, and as an American, I offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the US armed forces who are carrying out this mission. They're incredible."
"We are particularly focused on our engagements on making sure every American who wants to leave can get to the airport," Biden said, noting that the U.S. has "made clear to the Taliban that any attack, any attack, on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with swift and forceful."
Friday's speech addressed the evacuation of American citizens and their families, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and their families and vulnerable Afghans still in the country amid evacuation efforts.
CBS News reports at least one person was seen falling off the plane "from a significant height" as it ascended off the runway at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the now viral video.
Hundreds of individuals swarmed onto the tarmac of the airport on Monday and a large crowd ran along the U.S. C-130 transport plane, with some clinging to its wheels and any parts within grabbing reach as the plan quickly moved down the runway.
Dozens were spotted attempting to climb onto a civilian aircraft full of foreign nationals earlier in the day as it took off from the runway.
The distress among Afghan civilians comes after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital city, Kabal, effectively forcing the entire country and its government to be under the group's rule.
The presidential palace is also now under Taliban control after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, prohibiting any potential attempts to form a transitional government.
The Taliban take over comes after the U.S. withdrew troops from Afghanistan, nearly 20 years after American troops drove the group out of power and continued to have a presence in the country until recent evacuation.
CNN reports the U.S. defense secretary approved 1,000 more American troops to move into Afghanistan amid the ongoing situation, bringing the total number of arriving troops to 6,000.