US President Joe Biden on Friday (August 20, 2021) called the evacuation mission in Afghanistan one of the 'largest and most difficult' airlifts in US history. Biden, facing criticism of his handling of the chaotic pullout from Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover, said that his administration is going to do everything that they can to provide safe evacuation for their Afghan allies and partners."Let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home," he said in a speech from the White House.
"But make no mistake. This evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces, and it is being conducted under difficult circumstances," the US President added.
He also said that the US government is keeping a 'close watch' on any potential terrorist threat at or around the Kabul airport, including from the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan who were released from prison when the prisons were emptied.Joe Biden said that the past week has been 'heartbreaking'. He said, "We've seen gut-wrenching images of panicked people acting out of sheer desperation. You know, it's completely understandable. They're frightened. They’re sad — uncertain what happens next."
"I don't think anyone — I don’t think any one of us can see those pictures and not feel that pain on a human level," he added.
Biden's comments came amid the Taliban ousting the Kabul government a week ago as US forces withdrew after 20 years.