State Department officials announced on Monday that about 100 U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents wishing to evacuate Afghanistan are still in the country while waiting for a plane to return to U.S.-owned premises. bottom.
Officials briefing reporters on condition of anonymity said they were trying to safely escape people from the war-torn country, but the Taliban’s “who is allowed to leave” “Unpredictability” is hindering rescue operations.
“Of course, the biggest constraint on the departure of citizens and others from Afghanistan remains the Taliban’s unpredictability as to who is allowed to depart,” the State Department said. statement..
“The second major constraint is the lack of regular commercial aviation services that allow people wishing to depart to do so in a predictable way.”
Officials also said the State Department was in “regular communication” with a private group chartering their own evacuation flights from the country.
“Of course, our top priority in Afghanistan is to help American citizens who still want to leave the country and ensure safe passage and freedom of movement,” officials said.
At least 85 U.S. citizens and 79 legitimate permanent residents have been on sporadic flights with U.S. support since the last U.S. military withdrawal from the country, which is President Joe Biden’s voluntary deadline. Evacuated Afghanistan.
Authorities are struggling to provide an accurate estimate of the number of American citizens and legal permanent residents still remaining in Afghanistan, with numbers fluctuating.
Approximately 124,000 people were airlifted from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, as US troops completely withdrew Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the capital in late August.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin defended the Biden administration’s August 31 deadline and the withdrawal of US troops on Tuesday. This is a move facing intense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
“My judgment is that extending beyond the end of August would seriously undermine our people and our mission,” Austin said in his first parliament on the turbulent US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Said during the testimony of.
“Staying longer would be even more dangerous to our people and would not have significantly changed the number of evacuees we could leave,” he said.
Republicans said Biden’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by August 31 made the United States more vulnerable to terrorism. They are also requesting details about the suicide bombing in Kabul, which killed 13 American soldiers on the final day of the withdrawal.
Democrats sought to impose much of their blame for the unpopular blunder on the Trump-era deal with the Taliban, but some Democrats responded to the Biden administration’s situation and the rapid collapse of the former Afghan government. Was also critical.
from NTD News