May 23, 2022

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About 1,500 American citizens still in Afghanistan, secretary of state says

All over 1,500 American citizens remain in Afghanistan ahead of a rapidly approaching Aug. 31 deadline for the U.S. to withdraw troops from the country, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Wednesday.

In a briefing with reporters, Blinken reported 4,500 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan in the earlier 10 times and “we have been in immediate speak to with around 500 supplemental Us citizens and supplied unique directions on how to get to the airport safely.” He claimed officials have experienced a tough time monitoring down the other believed 1,000 American citizens who may possibly continue to be in the place.

“We’re aggressively reaching out to them numerous instances a day, by way of many channels of communication — phone, e-mail, textual content messaging — to establish no matter whether they continue to want to go away,” Blinken reported, including that some may have presently still left the country devoid of notifying the govt.

Blinken pointed out some may possibly have decided to remain. “Lots of of them are twin nationals and might take into consideration Afghanistan their household, who lived there for decades or who want to stay close to prolonged family,” Blinken mentioned.

He also reported some of the 1,000 “may possibly have claimed to be Americans but turned out not to be.”

“We are going to proceed to attempt to establish the position and designs of these individuals in the coming times,” he stated, but “from this list of approximately 1,000, we think the selection of Us citizens actively in search of help to leave Afghanistan is reduced, most likely considerably lessen.”

The U.S. Embassy warned People in america to stay clear of touring to the airport devoid of particular person guidance from a U.S. federal government consultant, citing security threats outside the house the gates of Kabul airport early Thursday.

It urged citizens at a few specific gates to “go away right away.”

A Condition Section spokesperson named it a dynamic and volatile security circumstance on the floor.

President Joe Biden has been less than substantial tension both at dwelling and abroad to lengthen the deadline to pull troops from Afghanistan in the wake of a immediate Taliban takeover, but he has regularly declined to force it back.

On Thursday, the bipartisan Trouble Solvers Caucus, a team of Home moderates, named on the administration to lengthen the timeline for withdrawal.

“From this week’s bipartisan member briefing, it is apparent that the administration’s set date for departure from Afghanistan on August 31st does not offer more than enough time to evacuate all American citizens and our partners,” the group reported in a assertion. “We respectfully simply call on the administration to rethink its timeline and give a clear system to Congress that will consequence in the completion of our shared countrywide targets.”

Pentagon officials stated earlier Wednesday that they had evacuated 19,000 individuals from Afghanistan in the previous 24 hours and above 80,000 since the procedure began previously this month.

Although the U.S. is aiming to get people out of the country by the Aug. 31 withdrawal day, Blinken mentioned there is “no deadline” on supporting Us residents and Afghan allies to depart.