WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden plans to adhere to a self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline in withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
In a speech Tuesday, Biden said the U.S. is "on pace" to complete its mission by Aug. 31, however, he said it's dependent on the Taliban's cooperation.
Contingency plans are being drawn up to adjust the timeline, should it be necessary, Biden stated.
He added that the longer the U.S. stays in Afghanistan, the more prone it is to attacks from terrorist organizations.
"Every day that we're on the ground is another day that we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both the U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians," Biden said.
In his speech, Biden lauded the evacuation effort. He said in the last 12 hours, 12,000 more people were evacuated from Afghanistan.
"As of this afternoon, we have helped evacuated 70,700 people just since Aug. 14," Biden said.
The president said the U.S. will be a leader in the refugee effort, and asked other nations to do their part to resettle Afghans fleeing the country.
The statement came on the same day the Taliban said it would not let Afghans leave the country.
The Taliban have set up checkpoints around Kabul, causing delays for those trying to reach the airport.
The U.S. military says it is currently in contact with American citizens and is offering them instructions as to how to reach the airport.