Less Than Week To The Deadline, As Many As 1,500 Americans Are Still In Afghanistan

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Families walk toward their flight during evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.

Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/AP

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Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/AP

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Over the last ten days, he said, the State Department has evacuated roughly 4,500 U.S. citizens.

Blinken underscored the complexity of the operation, its dangers, and the challenges in maintaining an accurate count on the number of Americans living in Afghanistan, saying enrolling with U.S. Embassy while living abroad is completely voluntary. He also said he is «relentlessly focused» on getting locally employed staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul out of the country.

«We’re operating in a hostile environment in a city and country now controlled by the Taliban, with the very real possibility of an ISIS-K attack,» he said., calling the coordinated effort «very high-risk.»

Forces on the ground are reportedly struggling to meet the end of the month deadline, but Blinken insisted the U.S. is «on track to complete our mission» as long as the Taliban continues to cooperate. Regardless, President Biden has called for contingency plans from the Pentagon and State department in the event the evacuation mission is not completed in time.

«But let me be crystal-clear about this: There is no deadline on our work to help any remaining American citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many Afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. That effort will continue every day past August 31st.»

Additionally, Blinken said efforts are «underway on the part of regional countries» to try and keep the airport open past Aug 31, when U.S. troops are expected to finish their mission.

  • Afghanistan withdrawal
  • Afghanistan


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