Taliban Threatens Biden With ‘Consequences’ If U.S. Delays Departure
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that there would be “consequences” if President Joe Biden was to delay the withdrawal date of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Biden administration has made it clear that all U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan no later than the end of August.
Shaheen said that the Taliban won’t tolerate the U.S. military presence after the date which Biden set.
“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on August 31 they would withdraw all their military forces,” said Shaheen during an interview with the U.K.’s Sky News. “So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.”
“If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction,” the spokesman added.
After the interview was released, U.S. Department of Defence Press Secretary John Kirby said that the department was aware of the public statements and would do its best on the withdrawal process.
“We have seen the public statements by the Taliban spokesman about their views on August 31, I think we all understand that view,” Kirby said. “The goal is to get as many people out as fast as possible, and while we’re glad to see the numbers that we got yesterday, we’re not going to rest on any laurels.”
“The focus is on trying to do this as best we can by the end of the month and as the Secretary [of Defence] said, if there needs – if we need, if he needs – to have additional conversations with the Commander in Chief about that timeline, he’ll do that but we’re just not at that point right now,” he added.
Taliban’s public statement came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly ask Biden to keep U.S troops in Afghanistan after August 31.