Washington DC: US President Joe Biden on Friday described the images emerging out of Afghanistan as "gut-wrenching", showing people "acting out of sheer desperation," hoping to get out of the country following the Taliban's siege of Kabul.
The Taliban entered the capital city on Sunday and declared victory over the Ashraf Ghani government. Chaotic scenes have since ensued in the city, where people can be seen rushing to the airport to flee the nation. "Last week has been heartbreaking. Crushing gut-wrenching images of panic people acting out of sheer desperation. You know, it's completely understandable. They're frightened or sad, uncertain what happens next," Biden said in an address on the developments in Afghanistan.
"We have almost 6,000 troops on the ground providing runway security and to the mountain division standing guard around the airport (in Kabul, Afghanistan) and marine assisting civilian departure," he added.
Biden termed the ongoing evacuation mission from the war-torn country as the "most difficult airlifts in history.
"This is one of the largest most difficult airlifts in history. And the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power. On the far side of the world, with this degree of precision is the United States of America," he said.
He further informed that the US has already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since the US military began airlifting people from Afghanistan on August 14.
"1000s more have been evacuated and private charter flights facilitated by the US government. These numbers include American citizens and permanent residents as well as their families, and includes SIV applicants and their families," he added.
Biden assured that any "American wants to come home, get you home."
Over questions on the US' loss of credibility due to messy withdrawal, Biden said he would remain focused on completing the US's withdrawal from Afghanistan now and save worry and criticism on what went wrong for later.
"There will be plenty of time to criticize and second-guess when this operation is over, but now, now, I'm focused on getting this job done," he said.