US warns Taliban to prevent Afghans from accessing airport

A first group of Spaniards and Afghan collaborators board an A400 plane belonging to the Spanish armed forces, which arrived in Kabul on Wednesday and took off from the airport in the Afghan capital towards Dubai, in the Arab Emirates. united, August 18 | Photo: EFE / Ministry of Defense of Spain

The United States said on Wednesday that the Taliban was violating the engagement and blocking Afghans’ access to Kabul airport as part of the withdrawal efforts organized by US troops.

“Contrary to their public statements and commitments to our government, we have information that the Taliban are blocking roads to prevent Afghans who want to leave from reaching the airport,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said. at a press conference.

On Tuesday, the White House said it had received assurances from the Taliban that civilians who wanted to leave Afghanistan would be allowed to travel safely to the airport after the insurgents took control of the capital. Sherman said US officials and military officials in Kabul and Doha are speaking directly with the Taliban to make it clear that the US expects them to allow “all US citizens, all third country nationals and all Afghans who wish to leave the country “. safely and without harassment. “

In a message released on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said its citizens and permanent residents should consider traveling to the airport to board one of the ongoing military flights. However, he cautioned that he could not guarantee a safe trip to the site.

In a parallel press conference, US Defense Chief of Staff Mark Milley said the Taliban does not interfere with US troop operations, but stressed that rebels allow access to holders of American passports. The Pentagon noted that 4,500 US troops are currently deployed to Hamid Karzai International Airport and ensured that the facilities are secure and remain open to allow flights.

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