First US troops reportedly leaving as Biden refuses to move evacuation deadline

First US troops reportedly leaving as Biden refuses to move evacuation deadline

The first US troops are leaving Afghanistan as President Joe Biden refused to extend the deadline for evacuation past 31 August, CNN reported.

Two officials told CNN about the drawdown but one said it does not affect the mission.

“If you can have a smaller mission set and still conduct the mission, then you can reduce your footprint and reduce your risk,” one of the officials said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the deadline during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“The Taliban’s deadline was May 1st, struck in a deal with the prior administration. The president’s timeline was August 31st.”

President Joe Biden is set to speak later on Tuesday about the drawdown.

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