According to White House officials, President Joe Biden is “laser-focused” on taking Americans out of the country who want to send Afghanistan out of the country.
Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director, said on CNN’s “New Day.”
On August 19, the United States evacuated about 3,000 people from Kabul International Airport in Kabul, according to White House officials. This included nearly 350 US citizens, the rest of whom were primarily Afghan citizens with special visas.
But thousands of other Americans remain in the country. There are also reports of not being able to reach the airport, the only US-owned facility left in the capital of Afghanistan.
“American citizens can’t reach the gate many times,” Rep. Peter Meyer, a Republican, told Fox News.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday that he was “uncertain” exactly what was happening at the airport, but as of Thursday, authorities prevented US citizens from entering the airport. He said he had not received a report showing that it was being done.
“I don’t know if that’s happening. I haven’t received any reports here that American citizens have been particularly stopped or harassed,” Kirby told reporters in Washington. ..
“But we don’t have a complete picture of what’s going on outside the airport, so we assert that they aren’t stopping or harassing people with US passports or visas. Obviously, we don’t want to see it happen. We don’t want to see someone hurt or harassed, “he added.
The US military relies on the Taliban to allow people to pass through checkpoints located around the outer walls of the airport.
Taliban terrorists said they were “allowed to pass by properly qualified people” to the airport in the hope that they could return to the United States.
Military officials say their mission does not include going out of the airport to rescue Americans, even though troops from other countries are reportedly performing rescue missions. Said. Former White House official Robert McCreeley said the United States carried out one mission on Wednesday, saving Afghan National Police officers who had worked in the U.S. military for years.
Asked on Friday about the apparent lack of rescue missions, Bedingfield distracted the question, saying that such questions were better answered by the military.
“But all I can say is that the president is pushing the team towards this. We do everything we can to get more people to the airport in an orderly manner. I work every day to do that, “she said.
Both White House and Pentagon officials say they don’t know how many Americans remain in the country, but Biden said in an interview recorded Wednesday that it could reach as high as 15,000. rice field.
A State Department spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email Thursday that their best estimate was between 5,000 and 10,000.
With the withdrawal date of August 31 approaching, enough time to evacuate all Americans who want to leave, not to mention Afghans seeking special visas to go to the United States and other countries. May not be there. Bedingfield emphasized that Biden, who will speak about evacuation efforts late Friday, has indicated that he will postpone the withdrawal deadline if necessary.
“The president promised: we get all the Americans who want to get out of Afghanistan,” she said.
Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.