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Biden: It was impossible for US to leave Afghanistan without ‘chaos’

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Joe Biden said Wednesday it had been impossible to leave Afghanistan without chaos, as the United States pleaded with the victorious Taliban to allow safe passage for people to flee.

Amid desperate scenes at the Kabul airport where US forces are racing against the clock to evacuate tens of thousands of people, Biden stood by his decision to end the 20-year US war in Afghanistan.

“The idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” Biden said in an ABC News television interview.

The Biden administration had long promised an “orderly drawdown” of America’s longest war, where the president says US forces no longer have any national interest in fighting in a protracted conflict.

Biden, in the ABC interview, said that he hoped the thousands of US troops sent back to Afghanistan for the evacuations would be out by August 31, the deadline he set to end the war.

But for the first time he said they could stay longer, adding: “If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay to get them all out.”

The president, who has acknowledged that he was stunned by the swift collapse of the US-backed Afghan government, ordered the takeover of the Kabul airport to run evacuations.

He said the Taliban were cooperating on letting Americans get out but added:........

© The Times of Israel

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