White House: Taliban agree to allow civilian ‘safe passage’

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, right, listens to a question accompanied by U.S. Army Major Gen. William Taylor, Joint Staff Operations, during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says the Taliban have agreed to allow safe passage for civilians seeking to leave Afghanistan.

U.S. commanders at the Kabul airport are coordinating with the Taliban while accelerating the evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghan allies.

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby says there have been no hostile actions by the Taliban, and that several hundred members of the now-defeated Afghan army are at the airport assisting in the evacuation.

He said the U.S. military intends to complete the evacuation by Aug. 31, and that any decision to extend it would require presidential approval.


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