ARIZONA NEWS

Sinema, Kelly question Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation plan

Aug 25, 2021, 4:35 AM
(Twitter Photo/@SenatorSinema, AP Photo)...
(Twitter Photo/@SenatorSinema, AP Photo)
(Twitter Photo/@SenatorSinema, AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s two Democratic U.S. senators have their concerns about President Joe Biden and his administration’s plan to evacuate U.S. citizens from Afghanistan in light of the country’s takeover by the Taliban.

Kyrsten Sinema, the state’s senior senator, said Tuesday that Biden needs to have a better, more organized plan to evacuate Americans citizens.

Biden stuck with an Aug. 31 deadline for completing the U.S-led evacuation from Afghanistan amid a growing fear of extremist attacks at the Kabul airport.

“It is crystal clear that the intelligence that the United States military and our intelligence assets knew that this would be difficult and that it was likely that the Taliban would regain control,” Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad.

“If you’re going to leave, you need to have a plan to do so. You need to do it in an orderly way that protects Americans and our Afghan allies.”

Sen. Mark Kelly, speaking at a Phoenix event Tuesday, said he wasn’t pleased that the evacuation plan was set to come to an end in a week.

Kelly said more time was needed, calling the likelihood all U.S. citizens and others are evacuated by the deadline “a significant challenge.”

“I think the timeline is less important,” Kelly said. “For me, it’s what can we do to get the U.S. citizens… out of the country.”

Pressure from U.S. allies, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, veterans groups and refugee organizations has grown for Biden to extend his deadline, which he set well before the Taliban completed its lightning takeover of Afghanistan on Aug. 15.

It remains unclear whether the airlift from Kabul’s international airport can get out all American citizens and other foreigners by next Tuesday, as well as former translators and other at-risk Afghans who fear for their lives under Taliban rule.

The chief Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said Aug. 31 leaves enough time to get all Americans out, but he was less specific about completing the evacuation of all at-risk Afghans.

“A better job needs to be done immediately with a very clear message that the United States maintains its relationship with our global allies, that we are opposed to terrorism and that we will always stand to support those who supported us,” Sinema said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Flickr/Martin Ely)...
KTAR.com

Tempe asks Arizona Supreme Court to review South Pier development case

Tempe has asked the Arizona Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court decision concerning a proposed development at Tempe Town Lake.
18 hours ago
A man works at an avocado orchard in Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 26,...
Associated Press

Route to Super Bowl dangerous for Mexico’s avocado haulers

SANTA ANA ZIROSTO, Mexico (AP) — It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for truckers transporting the avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States during the Super Bowl. It starts in villages like Santa Ana Zirosto, high in the misty, pine-clad mountains of the western Mexico state of Michoacan. […]
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Drive-by shooting injures 2, strikes multiple businesses in Phoenix

A drive-by shooting in midtown Phoenix resulted in injuries to a teenage boy and a young girl Friday evening, authorities said.
18 hours ago
Jane Garcia / Scottsdale Police Department photo....
KTAR.com

Authorities cancel Silver Alert issued for woman last seen driving in Scottsdale

Authorities in Scottsdale issued a Silver Alert on Saturday morning for a missing woman last seen driving on Friday night.
18 hours ago
(Elite Civil Construction Photo)...
Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix construction firm lands job preparing State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII

A fast-growing Phoenix construction company said working on preparing State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII is paying early dividends.
18 hours ago
(Consumption Park screenshot)...
Wills Rice

Mint to host 3-day cannabis party near State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl

Mint Cannabis will be holding a "Big Game" party with a three-day festival near State Farm Stadium in Glendale during Super Bowl weekend.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Sinema, Kelly question Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation plan