The Latest: Biden briefed on the Kabul situation, IS threat

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The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Joe Biden has been briefed by members of his nationalist information squad connected the evolving concern successful Afghanistan.

Biden and his squad met connected Saturday successful the White House Situation Room to sermon the information concern and counterterrorism operations, including against the Islamic State radical successful Afghanistan.

Evacuations and efforts to finalize agreements with third-party countries consenting to service arsenic transit hubs for evacuees were besides discussed.

Vice President Kamala Harris joined the gathering by unafraid video teleconference during her travels to Singapore. They were joined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, among others.

The White House said Biden canceled plans to question Saturday to his Wilmington, Delaware, home.

The IS affiliate – which has agelong declared a tendency to onslaught America and U.S. interests overseas — has been progressive successful Afghanistan for respective years, carrying retired horrific attacks, mostly connected the Shiite minority. The radical has been repeatedly targeted by U.S. airstrikes successful caller years, arsenic good arsenic Taliban attacks. But officials accidental fragments of the radical are inactive progressive successful Afghanistan, and the U.S. is acrophobic astir it reconstituting successful a larger mode arsenic the state comes nether divisive Taliban rule.

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MORE ON THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN:

— In Kabul, a fearful hold for US to present connected evacuation vow

— Europe fears Afghan exile situation aft Taliban takeover

— AP PHOTOS: Two decades of war, and regular beingness successful Afghanistan

— Biden vows to evacuate each Americans — and Afghan helpers

— For US subject leaders, Afghan quality strikes idiosyncratic chord

— Western groups hopeless to prevention Afghan workers near behind

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— Find much AP sum astatine https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WASHINGTON — Pentagon says that astir 3,800 civilians person been evacuated from Afghanistan implicit the past day, amid wide logistical challenges and backlogs astatine waystations successful the Middle East and Europe.

Security threats slowed the advancement of Americans and others done the gates astatine Kabul airport, arsenic thousands desperately effort to get connected flights retired of the country.

The Pentagon said that six U.S. subject C-17 craft and 32 charter flights departed Kabul airdrome implicit the past 24 hours. The subject planes carried conscionable 1,600 of those people.

Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, Joint Staff lawman manager for determination operations, told Pentagon reporters connected Saturday that of the 17,000 radical evacuated since Aug. 15, conscionable 2,500 person been Americans. U.S. officials person estimated determination are arsenic galore arsenic 15,000 Americans successful Afghanistan, but admit they don’t person coagulated numbers.

The evacuations person been hampered by screening and logistical strains astatine waystations specified arsenic al-Udeid Air Base successful Qatar, which deed maximum capacity. U.S. officials said they person constricted numbers of subject and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol screeners astatine the transit points, and they are struggling to enactment done glitches successful the vetting systems.

Taylor said that the Kabul airdrome remains open, and that Americans proceed to beryllium processed if they get to the gates.

He and Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby declined to sermon information problems successful immoderate detail, but said the menace representation changes by the hour.

“We cognize that we’re warring against some clip and space,” Kirby said. “That’s the contention we’re successful close now.”

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WASHINGTON — A elder U.S. authoritative said Saturday that imaginable threats by the Islamic State radical against Americans successful Afghanistan are forcing the U.S. subject to find caller ways for evacuees to scope the Kabul airport.

The authoritative said that tiny groups of Americans and perchance different civilians volition beryllium fixed circumstantial instructions connected what to do, including question to transit points wherever they tin beryllium gathered up by the military. The authoritative spoke connected information of anonymity to sermon subject operations.

The changes travel arsenic the U.S. Embassy issued a caller information informing Saturday telling national not to question to the Kabul airdrome without idiosyncratic acquisition from a U.S. authorities representative.

Officials declined to supply much specifics astir the IS menace but described it arsenic significant, and said determination person been nary confirmed IS attacks oregon incidents arsenic yet.

—Lolita C. Baldor successful Washington;

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BUCHAREST, Romania — A subject craft carrying 15 Romanian citizens and 4 Bulgarians who were initially evacuated from Kabul to Islamabad landed safely Saturday day astatine an airbase astatine Bucharest’s Otopeni Airport.

The C-130 Hercules craft touched down astatine Base 90 astir 1 p.m. The evacuees were greeted by Romania’s overseas curate Bogdan Aurescu and defence curate Nicolae Ciuca.

“I privation to stress that you, the Romanian citizens, are astatine the halfway of our concerns and action,” Aurescu said. “Even if it were a azygous Romanian citizen, we would person done the same.”

Aurescu called Afghanistan a spot of “extreme quality despair and suffering,” and said that authorities volition proceed to code “waves of susceptible groups, specified arsenic Afghan journalists whom we tried to evacuate yesterday.”

On Friday, Romania said that the “extremely difficult” information concern astir Kabul airdrome meant that nary of the Afghan citizens it had “validated and contacted” for evacuation to Romania could scope the Afghan capital’s airport.

Romania has conducted 3 evacuation flights this week from Kabul airport, successful full evacuating 23 people, including 16 Romanians. All but 1 of the evacuees, a U.S. citizen, were citizens of European Union countries. In caller days, different 30 Romanians person been evacuated connected craft of spouse states, officials said.

President Klaus Iohannis successful a connection Saturday thanked the authorities progressive successful the “successful coordination” of the evacuations, which helium said “took spot successful highly hard information conditions.”

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LONDON — A erstwhile Royal Marine turned foundation manager successful Afghanistan has slammed British authorities claims that the concern successful the war-torn state is stabilizing, informing that helium and his unit would beryllium risking their lives if they tried to get to the airdrome successful Kabul.

Paul Farthing, amended known arsenic “Pen,” said helium has been told by British authorities that helium has a spot connected a formation backmost to the U.K., but not for the 25 unit from his carnal payment foundation Nowzad and their families.

Farthing told BBC vigor that helium is “disgusted” astatine the situation, and warned that the humanitarian situation is present “getting retired of control.”

“We can’t permission the state due to the fact that we can’t get into the airdrome without putting our lives astatine risk.” helium said. “You’ve each seen the scenes — it is not antithetic contiguous to immoderate different time, it is conscionable getting worse.”

He said helium is “past angry” and “just wholly numb astatine the incompetence of this operation.”

As of Wednesday, Britain had managed to get retired implicit 2,000 Afghans from the country, mode much that the 300 oregon truthful U.K. nationals. On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said astir 1,000 radical a time were being evacuated amid a “stabilization” astatine the airport, a batch of them Afghan citizens “to whom we beryllium debts of gratitude and honor.”

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MADRID — The president of the European Commission has urged the planetary assemblage to unfastened arms for Afghan refugees.

Ursula von der Leyen made the remarks connected Saturday erstwhile she and EU Council President Charles Michel visited a reception halfway for evacuees established by Spain’s authorities adjacent Madrid.

“This resettlement of susceptible radical is of utmost importance. It is our motivation duty,” Von der Leyen said. Offering “legal and harmless routes globally, organized by us, the planetary community, for those who request protection” indispensable beryllium a precedence of adjacent week’s G7 gathering connected the Afghanistan crisis, she added.

The EU’s apical officials toured the installation that Spain has acceptable up astatine the Torrejón subject airbase adjacent Madrid on with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who said it has the capableness to clasp 800 people.

Two planes sent by Spain’s authorities person already arrived astatine the aerial base. A archetypal level brought backmost 5 Spaniards and 48 Afghans who had worked for Spain and their families. A 2nd formation arrived precocious connected Friday nighttime with 110 much Afghans. A 3rd formation with different 110 passengers has near Kabul for Dubai, which Spain is utilizing arsenic a stop-off constituent earlier the evacuees are flown connected to Madrid.

The aerial basal is besides receiving flights from the European Union External Action work with different evacuees from Afghanistan airlifted retired of Kabul by different EU countries.

EU officials and those of subordinate states similar Spain, however, admit that the main hurdle to getting radical retired of Afghanistan is helping them scope and summation entree to the airport. Spain says that its flights person had bare seats.

Von der Leyen said EU delegation members are perpetually astatine the airdrome to effort and help. “It is precise hard situation, it is changing by the minutes, but determination is aggravated enactment being done to marque the champion of a precise hard situation.”

The evacuees that scope Spain’s aerial basal are expected to walk up to 3 days determination earlier moving to invited centers successful different parts of Spain oregon continuing their journeys to different European countries.

Sánchez said that the effect from different EU members has been affirmative and that portion of those who person arrived person already near for different countries successful the bloc.

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ISTANBUL — A Turkish Airlines formation carrying 160 evacuees from Kabul landed successful Istanbul Saturday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The Turkish citizens and “other nationals” arrived aft archetypal taking a Turkish subject formation from Kabul to Pakistani superior Islamabad, the quality bureau said. There was nary further item connected the passengers’ identities but the study said 14 babies were among the passengers. Non-Turkish citizens are being quarantined successful hotels nether pandemic regulations.

Earlier, the quality bureau reported that 204 Turkish citizens had been brought from Kabul to Islamabad connected 2 abstracted flights connected Friday evening. It was unclear whether they had travelled connected to Turkey. On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 552 Turkish citizens had been flown retired of Afghanistan.

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LONDON — Many radical successful westbound London with household members trying to get retired of Afghanistan are seeking proposal and accusation from a section enactment acceptable up to enactment Afghan and Central Asian refugees 20 years ago, the aforesaid twelvemonth a U.S.-led planetary unit drove the Taliban from powerfulness aft the 9/11 attacks.

Shah Hamdam, 52, said helium would bash thing to get his sister, a tv journalist, retired of Kabul, present that the Taliban are backmost successful power of Afghanistan.

“She is begging,” Hamdam said. “She says, ‘Find a solution, find a mode for maine to get retired of this concern astatine the moment.’ I try, I try, I sound each doorway to find a mode to bring her implicit if possible.”

Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi, laminitis and manager of the Afghanistan & Central Asian Association, near Afghanistan with his young household erstwhile the Taliban were successful complaint successful 1999. He said his enactment has received hundreds of affectional telephone calls successful caller days from radical successful Afghanistan, including vacationing British Afghans caught up successful the abrupt and chaotic crook of events.

“Those radical volition look a superior humiliation, persecution and torture by the Taliban conscionable due to the fact that they were moving with Western organizations,” Nasimi said.

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BERLIN — Two tiny German subject helicopters that were sent to Kabul successful a determination coordinated with the United States had been assembled and were acceptable for enactment connected Saturday, German officials said.

The thought is for them to beryllium utilized successful Kabul if idiosyncratic evacuees request to beryllium picked up by chopper and brought to the airport. But Germany’s apical subject commander, Gen. Eberhard Zorn, said “there is nary factual program yet for their deployment.”

Zorn said the concern remains hard astatine the gates of the airdrome successful the Afghan capital. The fig of radical German planes person taken retired has varied.

A German formation arrived successful Tashkent connected Friday nighttime with 172 evacuees connected board, but 2 consequent flights — besides with an Airbus A400M — carried retired lone 7 and 8 people.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Germany truthful acold has evacuated astir 2,000 people. “The concern is difficult, but with our capabilities and everything that comes up connected the ground, we volition support connected taking retired arsenic galore arsenic possible,” she said.

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PARIS — France’s says it has evacuated implicit 570 people, including astatine slightest 407 Afghan citizens, from Kabul onboard its subject craft since Monday.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry added that a 4th evacuation level landed Friday evening successful Paris, carrying 4 French citizens and 99 Afghans, mostly radical who worked with the French authorities oregon French groups successful Afghanistan.

The ministry said that authorities services and the French embassy, which has been moved to Kabul airport, stay “fully mobilized to guarantee caller flights arsenic soon arsenic possible.”

French president Emmanuel Macron promised Monday that France would not wantonness Afghans who worked for the state and would besides question to support journalists, artists, activists and others nether menace aft the Taliban took powerfulness successful Afghanistan.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force says the cargo level packed with Afghan refugees whose photograph was wide shared online really carried adjacent much radical than primitively thought — 823 — and marked a caller rider grounds for the aircraft.

The little connection by the Air Mobility Command connected Friday said the C-17 that departed the capital, Kabul, past Sunday had an archetypal number of 640 passengers, but that fig inadvertently near retired 183 children sitting connected people’s laps.

The connection said the close number of 823 passengers is simply a grounds for the C-17. It took disconnected arsenic the Taliban swept into the city, prompting thousands of Afghans and foreigners to unreserved to the airdrome seeking formation retired — with immoderate reaching the tarmac.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch defence ministry says that the archetypal radical of Afghans evacuated from Kabul connected Dutch subject transport planes has arrived astatine a barracks successful the bluish Netherlands that has been transformed into a impermanent accommodation center.

The ministry said Friday that a radical of 28 Afghans has been taken to the halfway successful Zoutcamp, a tiny colony travel 180 kilometers (120 miles) northbound of Amsterdam.

Dutch authorities accidental they person truthful acold managed 5 flights retired of Kabul with astir 300 passengers. It is not wide however galore of them were Afghans.

The Dutch authorities is seeking to evacuate Afghan nationals and their families who worked for the country’s subject during its deployment and for the embassy arsenic good arsenic unit astatine assistance projects.

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MILAN — Italy says its subject has evacuated astir 1,000 Afghan citizens retired of Kabul implicit the past 5 days.

The Defense Ministry said that 2 flights carrying 207 Afghans arrived Saturday successful Rome from Kuwait, which Italy is utilizing arsenic a staging crushed for the Kabul evacuations.

Italy has deployed much than 1,500 servicemen and women to run an airbridge from Kabul to Kuwait aboard 4 C130J aircraft, and to ferry evacuees to information successful Italy aboard 4 KC767s.

Italy began what it has dubbed Operation Aquila Omnia successful June, bringing to information 1,532 Afghan citizens to date. Eighty, including 33 women, arrived connected Saturday astatine a basal successful South Tyrol, bluish Italy, for a 10-day COVID quarantine.

In a video distributed by the ministry, an Afghan antheral who was brought to the basal thanked “the Italian equipped forces, who didn’t permission america unsocial successful Afghanistan. With each the difficulty, they brought america away.” Speaking with his backmost to the camera, helium said the travel took 2 days. “We are tired. We are happy. We are present successful a harmless country,’ helium said, expressing besides anticipation that 1 time “if Afghanistan becomes safe, we tin instrumentality to our country.”

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s overseas ministry says that a subject craft has evacuated 14 Romanian citizens and 4 Bulgarians from Kabul airdrome to Islamabad.

It said successful a connection Friday evening that different Romanian citizen, a United Nations employee, could not scope Kabul airdrome due to the fact that of information issues, adding that it volition look to spouse states to place imaginable evacuation options.

Authorities said the evacuees were assisted connected accomplishment by Romanian Embassy unit successful Pakistan. It was Romania’s 3rd evacuation formation this week utilizing a C-130 Hercules subject aircraft.

The ministry besides said that it has “validated and contacted” a fig of Afghan citizens who collaborated with its troops during their ngo successful Afghanistan who person expressed a privation to beryllium evacuated to Romania.

But the “extremely difficult” information concern astir Kabul airdrome meant that nary of the Afghan citizens could scope the airport. “In their case,” the ministry said. “(We) volition proceed to enactment to place evacuation options.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The land kingdom of Bahrain has said it is “allowing flights to marque usage of Bahrain’s transit facilities” amid the evacuations of Afghanistan.

The kingdom made the announcement successful a connection released aboriginal Saturday.

Bahrain, successful the Persian Gulf disconnected Saudi Arabia, is location to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

The announcement comes arsenic the U.S. faced issues Friday with its facilities astatine Al-Udeid Air Base successful Qatar filling up with those fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country.

The kingdom besides said it is hoping that “all parties volition perpetrate to stabilizing the interior concern and to protecting the lives of civilians and the regularisation of law.”

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Senior U.S. subject officials accidental that the processing of passengers wrong the Kabul airdrome has begun, but that determination is simply a sizeable backlog of radical waiting to alert to Qatar.

Gates to the Hamid Karzai International Airport were closed overnight owed to overcrowding successful the area, and processing began Saturday morning. It would beryllium astir 5 to 9 hours earlier the backlog clears and much radical could beryllium allowed successful done the gates.

The officials spoke to the AP connected information of anonymity arsenic they were not authorized to sermon ongoing subject operations.

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WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken says 13 countries person frankincense acold agreed to astatine slightest temporarily big at-risk Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan. Another 12 person agreed to service arsenic transit points for evacuees, including Americans and others, leaving Afghanistan.

Blinken said successful a connection that imaginable Afghan refugees not already cleared for resettlement successful the United States volition beryllium housed astatine facilities successful Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Ukraine and Uganda.

Transit countries see Bahrain, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, helium said.

“We profoundly admit the enactment they person offered, and are arrogant to spouse with them successful our shared enactment of the Afghan people,” Blinken said. “We are encouraged by different countries that are besides considering providing support. We person nary higher precedence than the information and information of U.S. citizens overseas and to fulfill our commitments to citizens of spouse nations and at-risk Afghans.”

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