Biden says 'no-one killed' in Kabul
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During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Joe Biden wrongly claimed no one had died around Kabul airport as thousands of fleeing civilians have surrounded terminals waiting to be evacuated. The American president said the US had things “under control” despite reports of a 14-year-girl being killed in the stampede, people falling to their deaths from planes taking off and even US troops killing two people near the airport. Mr Biden has come under repeated pressure from Republicans and Democrats to fix the problem as his delayed response has caused havoc for thousands of stranded Afghans.
In an ABC interview which aired on Thursday morning, Mr Biden was interrogated on his handling of Afghanistan
Mr Biden told Mr Stephanopoulos “We have control of the airport now” to which the journalist said there was still “a lot of pandemonium” outside of the airport.
The President replied: “Oh, there is, but no one’s being killed right now.
“God forgive me if I’m wrong about that, but no one’s being killed right now.”
Marzia Rahmati is thought to be the youngest of the 12 confirmed victims who have died as a result of the chaos at Kabul airport.
Her family released images of the 14-year-old girl after she was caught in a stampede and was killed.
Two Afghans were filmed falling from the sky after they held onto an plane fleeing Afghanistan.
Mr Biden dismissed the video and said it was something that happened “four” or “five” days ago – despite happening only two days prior to his interview.
Joe Biden claims 'chaos' was inevitable in Kabul
The Democrat leader also suggested there was “no mistakes” in his handling of Afghanistan after Mr Stephanopoulos explicitly asked him what should have been done differently.
Mr Stephanopoulos asked: “So you don’t think this exit could have been handled better in any way? No mistakes?”
Mr Biden said: “Oh, I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that.. we were gonna go back in hindsight and look, but the idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing. I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how that happened.”
When asked where the failures were, Mr Biden replied: “Look, I don’t think it was a fair… it was a simple choice, George.
“When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government gets into the plane taking off and going to another country.
“When you saw the significant collapse of the Afghan troops we had trained up to 300,000 just leaving their equipment and taking off. That was. That’s what happened. That’s simply what happened.”
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He added: “We got 1,000-somewhat, 1,200 out, yesterday, a couple thousand today and it’s increasing, we’re gonna get those people out.”
Mr Biden also admitted he would have still withdrawn troops from Afghanistan without the Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban in 2020.
Donald Trump negotiated with the Taliban and said all US forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan in exchange for the group not harbouring extremist groups like Al-Qaeda.
When Mr Biden took office, he reviewed the agreement and pushed the original May date to September 11.
Only a few thousand ground troops and personnel were still in the area but the US continued to provide training and specialist support to Afghan security forces.
The Pentagon revealed 7,000 civilians have been evacuated so far as additional planes enter Kabul to help with the situation.
However, US authorities revealed they do not know the exact number of Americans left in Kabul after Mr Biden said troops could stay behind August 31 to rescue them.
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