Pressure on Biden over Afghanistan evacuations

"Any American who wants to get home will get home."

U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday reiterated his "unwavering" commitment to get American citizens and at-risk Afghans out of Kabul, in the hopes of meeting a self-imposed deadline for the mission on August 31.

Facing increasing pressure to pick up the pace of evacuations, Biden said the security situation in Afghanistan was changing rapidly and his administration was responding as quickly as possible.

"Let me be clear. The evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful no matter when it started, when we began. It would have been true if we had started a month ago, or a month from now. There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss of heartbreaking images you see on television.

The Pentagon on Sunday called on six commercial airlines, including Delta, American and United, to help transport evacuees.

It's only the third time the U.S. military has ever employed civilian aircraft after the Gulf War and again in 2003 in Iraq.

Meanwhile, thousands of people remained outside Kabul's airport on Sunday, desperate to flee as Taliban gunmen beat back the crowds.

The Taliban has sought to show a more moderate face since capturing Kabul last week, after the U.S. and its allies withdrew troops following a 20-year war.

Britain has pushed for sanctions on the new Taliban government.

Biden said Sunday he would support the move depending on their conduct.

"And so so far, the Taliban has not taken action against U.S. forces. So far, they have, by in large, followed through on what they said in terms of allowing Americans to pass through in the like. And I'm sure they don't control all of their forces. It's a ragtag force. And so we'll see ,we'll see whether or not what they say turns out to be true."

Biden will meet virtually with leaders of other G7 nations on Tuesday to coordinate Afghanistan policy, discuss evacuation efforts and humanitarian assistance.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting