Pentagon updates on Kabul, vaccine obligations

US Department of Defense press conference John Kirby (right) and Army Major William Taylor (left) are attending a news briefing at the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Alex Wong / Getty Images)

OAN News Room
Updated 3:21 pm Pacific Standard Time – Monday, August 23, 2021

Major Hank Taylor told the press about the latest information on the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. At a press conference on Monday, General Taylor said an astonishing 17,000 people had moved out of Afghanistan in the last 24 hours alone.

More than 37,000 people remain since the withdrawal gained momentum on August 14. But when asked specifically how many Americans had fled the country, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby couldn’t give a definitive answer.

“I think the numbers are very fluid and literally change almost every hour, so I’ll leave them for now,” he said. “… I’ll leave it in the thousands for now.”

Kirby also did not provide details on reports of shootings at Kabul Airport, killing an Afghan. When asked about the withdrawal date, he said the mission was to be completed by August 31st and the extension date had not been discussed.

Moreover, neither Kirby nor General Taylor were able to respond to reports that Britain was locked out of communications between the United States and the Taliban. Kirby also did not have an answer about the American weapons that the Taliban were left to use themselves.

“I don’t have an accurate inventory of the equipment that Afghans are free to use that may currently be at risk,” he said. “Obviously, we don’t want to see weapons and systems in the hands of people who use them in ways that harm our interests or the interests of our partners and allies.”

But the Pentagon didn’t just give a vague answer. Pentagon officials were very clear about their vaccination obligations to military and other military personnel, following Pfizer Jab’s recent FDA approval.

“With the Pfizer vaccine approved, the department is ready to issue up-to-date guidance requiring all service members to vaccinate. A timeline for vaccination completion will be provided within a few days.” Kirby explained. “Army health, as always, our military and private employees, families and communities are our top priorities.”

The obligation applies only to the Pfizer vaccine and there are no plans to extend it to other jabs at this time. The Pentagon plans to bring more updates as information becomes available.

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Pentagon updates on Kabul, vaccine obligations

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