CNN slams White House’s response over Afghanistan evacuation

0
38
CNN slams White House's response over Afghanistan evacuation

CNN has slammed the White House’s response to the botched Afghanistan evacuations as “political spin” and CBS accused officials of being “deliberately vague” on the number of Americans still stranded — as satellite images showed thousands still battling to get out of Kabul.

More than 17,000 US citizens and Afghans had been evacuated from Kabul in 36 hours, White House officials said late Monday — but the deadly Taliban violence that has blocked many from entering the airport still remains.

The Biden administration continues to face mounting criticism over its handling of the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from the country in the wake of last week’s Taliban takeover.

CNN reporter Sam Kiley said the Biden administration was using “political spin” after White House press secretary Jen Pskai insisted it was “irresponsible” to say Americans were “stranded” in Kabul.

In a live-cross from Kabul, Kiley said there were thousands of Americans trying to get out of Afghanistan but “authorities here at the moment are struggling to get them safely into this location.”

People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 23, 2021.
People attempt to get into the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 23, 2021.
EPA
A satellite photo shows massive crowds as they wait to be evacuated from Kabul.
A satellite photo shows massive crowds as they wait to be evacuated from Kabul.
Maxar Technologies via Storyful

He said officials were now prioritizing US citizens by not allowing Afghans into the airport.

Pskai’s snippy response came despite numerous reports of Americans saying they cannot reach the evacuation point.

Meanwhile, Biden administration officials have repeatedly refused to say how many US citizens remain in Kabul.

CBS reporter David Martin accused the Pentagon of being “deliberately vague” after press secretary John Kirby said there were “several thousand” that still needed to be evacuated.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was called out for being “deliberately vague” on the number of Americans still needing to be rescued from Afghanistan.
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

“If it’s just a matter of checking the number, can you do that and give it to us?” Martin asked during a press briefing on Monday. “Or, if you are being deliberately vague, tell me why you are being deliberately vague?”

Kirby responded: “I’m going to leave it at several thousand right now.”

It comes as satellite images emerged on Tuesday showing thousands of people still desperately crowding into Kabul airport waiting to board one of the military flights.

Satellite images show evacuees being separated into large groups at the airport in Kabul.
Satellite images show evacuees being separated into large groups at the airport in Kabul.
Maxar Technologies via Storyful
Thousands of people are still trying to get into the airport in Kabul.
Thousands of people are still trying to get into the airport in Kabul.
via REUTERS
Satellite Imagery Captures Crowds at Kabul Airport
White House press secretary Jen Pskai insisted it was “irresponsible” to say Americans were “stranded” in Kabul.
Maxar Technologies via Storyful

The images showed evacuees being separated into at least 12 large groups on the tarmac pending their evacuation.

Other images captured outside the airport perimeter showed thousands of people still trying to get in.

The crisis in Kabul has put the White House on the defensive regarding President Biden’s preparations for the withdrawal of US troops by Aug. 31 following 20 years of war.

People wait by the roadside at Kabul airport, Afghanistan, August 23, 2021.
People wait by the roadside at Kabul airport, Afghanistan, on August 23, 2021.
REUTERS

The swift Taliban offensive left many Americans behind enemy lines.

A senior US official told The Post on Monday that the White House estimates about 4,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan, meaning that thousands may remain in Taliban-held areas.

The official said that the Pentagon initially estimated there were 8,000-10,000 Americans in Afghanistan and the State Department estimated 10,000-15,0000 US citizens.

US Marines provide assistance at an Evacuation Control Checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul.
US Marines provide assistance at an Evacuation Control Checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul.
EPA/U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla

American David Marshall Fox told The Post on Thursday that he and his son unsuccessfully sought to enter the airport while presenting his US passport.

Washington Post reporter Susannah George revealed Monday that British troops helped her get to Kabul airport so she could board a US evacuation flight.

Source link