President Joe Biden's claim that there was "no circumstance" in which American citizens would be evacuated from Kabul by helicopter has resurfaced after US troops continued to evacuate embassy staff as the Taliban captured Afghanistan's capital city.
The US on Friday began deploying troops to evacuate embassy staff in Kabul as the Taliban advanced rapidly on the city.
By Sunday, the Taliban had taken the city as the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Throughout Sunday, helicopters raced over Kabul carrying US embassy staff out of the city, the Associated Press reported.
The chaos came after President Biden announced in April that all US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11.
Biden in July denied that there was any valid comparison between the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the US evacuation from Saigon in 1975 following its defeat in the Vietnam war.
Photos of military helicopters evacuating remaining troops and embassy staff became defining images of the conflict.
Similar images emerged on Sunday, bringing Biden's claim into question.
"The Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army," he said.
"They are not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There is going to be no circumstance in which you are going to see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable."
—POLARIS (@polarisnatsec) August 13, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied on Sunday that the scenes were reminiscent of Vietnam.
"This is manifestly not Saigon," he told ABC's "This Week."
"We went into Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11, and that mission has been successful."