‘Leave or there would be consequences’: Taliban warn US not to extend troop deployment beyond August 31

The Taliban have warned the United States against delaying the withdrawal of its troops beyond the set deadline of August 31.

The Taliban’s warning has come after US President Joe Biden recently said US troops might remain in Afghanistan longer to oversee a “hard and painful” evacuation of its nationals and Afghan allies.

The evacuations are underway as the Taliban have taken control of almost the entire Afghanistan in a swift and quick manner that was predicted by almost none.

A Taliban official was earlier quoted as saying that foreign troops have not expressed any intention of extending the August 31 deadline to leave the country.

However, a Taliban spokesperson has now issued a categorical warning to the Biden administration.

“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that,” said Taliban spokesperson Dr Suhail Shaheen. “If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” he added.

“It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction,” Shaheen said in remarks given to UK broadcaster Sky News.

Biden Sunday stated that the extension of the deployment of troops for the evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline was still under discussion and no decision has been taken yet.

“There are discussions going on among us and the military about extending, our hope is we will not have to extend,” said Biden. “But there are going to be discussions, I suspect, on how far along we are in the process.”

It was in July that Biden had issued orders to withdraw the US military from Afghanistan by August-end and end one of the country’s longest missions.


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