Kabul: US reporter recalls being rescued by British soldiers
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A US reporter has detailed her perilous journey of escaping Afghanistan from Kabul Airport with a “window of opportunity” provided by British troops. Susannah George from the Washington Post told MSNBC she was only able to reach her flight after British soldiers arrived to evacuate compatriots from a safe den. Joe Biden said US soldiers had not extended their security perimeter beyond the immediate area of Karzai Airport, with Americans seeking to evacuate being urged to make their way to the airport without an escort.
The Washington Post’s chief correspondent said: “We were able to escape Kabul.
“We were lucky because we were able to use a window where the UK troops were conducting their own evacuations.
“And there’s just hundreds of people piled up against them.”
She went on: “These British forces had pushed these people back past the Taliban checkpoint and had cleared a portion of the road that allowed us this small window of opportunity to use that bit of road to get inside the military airport and get to a flight that would get us outside of Kabul.”
Ms George shared further details about her crew’s escape from Kabul, writing: “Initially, the men were cautious about helping us.
“We weren’t part of their evacuation, and the officer said they needed sign-off from the US Embassy.
“But after a few phone calls, they agreed to wave Tassal, another Washington Post employee, and their families through the Taliban checkpoint.”
On Friday, President Biden said “we have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in Kabul, through the airport.”
Downing Street has said the UK’s evacuation actions would continue as long as it is safe to say so.
However, a Taliban spokesman said this morning that the deadline for evacuation is the 31 Augusta and staying past this date would be “red line”.
President Joe Biden says the US forces are accelerating the evacuation with US troops expanding the perimeter around the site.
Thousands of Afghans have been swarming around the gates in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban sieved power on 15 August.
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Mr Biden is facing pressure to extend a deadline for evacuations beyond 31 August.
He said discussions were happening with leaders of other countries about pushing back the deadline.
The president said: “There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and the heart-breaking images you see.
“We have made changes, including extending the access area around the airport – the safe zone.
“We have a long way to go and a lot can still go wrong.”
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