Biden Admin On Taliban ‘Trying To Isolate Kabul’: ‘Can’t Speak For What Their Intentions Are’

Department of Defense Secretary John Kirby told the media on Friday that as the situation in Afghanistan continues to rapidly deteriorate, he could not speculate on what the Taliban’s intentions were as they surrounded the nation’s capital, Kabul.

“Kabul is not, right now, in an imminent-threat environment,” Kirby claimed. “But clearly, if you just look at what the Taliban’s been doing, you can see that they are trying to isolate Kabul. Now, what they want to do if they achieve that isolation, I think only they can speak to. But you can see a certain effort to — to isolate Kabul. It is not unlike the way they’ve operated in other places of the country, isolating provincial capitals, and sometimes being able to force a surrender without necessarily much bloodshed.”

“I can’t speak for what their intentions are,” he said. “What I can tell you is that we’re taking the situation seriously, and that’s one of the reasons why we moved these forces, or we’re moving these forces into Kabul to assist with this particular mission, because we know that time is a precious commodity here.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

QUESTION: Now you said you won’t speculate about movements on Kabul, but how would you describe the situation now? Is Kabul under a threat? Is Kabul isolated? What is it?

MR. KIRBY: Right now, without getting into a battlefield assessment every day — I don’t want to do that — but they’re — Kabul is not, right now, in an imminent-threat environment. But clearly, David, if you just look at what the Taliban’s been doing, you can see that they are trying to isolate Kabul. Now, what they want to do if they achieve that isolation, I think only they can speak to. But you can see a certain effort to — to isolate Kabul. It is not unlike the way they’ve operated in other places of the country, isolating provincial capitals, and sometimes being able to force a surrender without necessarily much bloodshed.

Again, I — I can’t speak for what their intentions are. What I can tell you is that we’re taking the situation seriously, and that’s one of the reasons why we moved these forces — or we’re moving these forces into Kabul to assist with this particular mission, because we know — we know that — that time is a precious commodity here.

QUESTION: Is it isolated now?

MR. KIRBY: I — I’m — I don’t want to get into a specific intelligence assessment on — on the battlefield. I — I just don’t want to do that. But clearly, from their actions, it appears as if they are trying to get Kabul isolated.

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