Hundreds of Americans remain in Afghanistan as deadlines approach


About 600 people are still in Afghanistan on August 30, one day before the US military withdrawal deadline, according to US military officials.

Pentagon officials told reporters Monday that about 5,400 of the 122,000 US troops evacuated or promoted evacuation in recent weeks were Americans.

Last week, top U.S. officials said about 6,000 U.S. citizens were in Afghanistan as of mid-August.

“We continue to have the ability to evacuate and take off. [people] Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, Deputy Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Regional Operations, told reporters in Washington.

Pentagon officials said the Pentagon would have an exact number of Americans still in contact with civil servants before the deadline. The White House and the Department of State did not respond to requests for more information.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken nailed the number of Americans still in Afghanistan on Sunday who want to leave with about 300 people.

Government officials say the number of Americans in Afghanistan fluctuates because they did not have to register with the government when traveling to Afghanistan and some registered did not unregister when leaving the country. increase.

However, the official estimate of the number remaining earlier this month reached 15,000. This means that if the United States actually withdraws on August 31, thousands could get stuck.

A U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying a family evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, arrived at Pristina International Airport, the capital of Kosovo, on August 29, 2021. (VisarKryeziu / AP photo)

Americans have reported to parliamentarians that they cannot reach the US-owned airport in Kabul, and a final government warning told Americans to leave the facility and leave if they were already outside the facility. Biden administration officials said these reports were not true.

President Joe Biden has so far insisted on withdrawing all US troops on August 31, which will give the Taliban terrorist groups complete control over the Middle East. Taliban militants beat US-backed Afghan troops earlier this month before occupying Kabul.

“We still have time, and the Department of State is in contact with additional American citizens. Again, given the tense security environment we are dealing with, we shouldn’t talk more. But they are in touch, “said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Monday.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives continued to urge the administration to postpone the deadline, which many have stated to be arbitrary.

Senator Dan Sullivan (Republican, Alaska) said on Twitter on Monday, “There are no senior officials … why 8/31 seems to be sticking to the administration regardless of whether all Americans are out safely. It explains that it is a deadline that looks like. “

“No more troops should be excluded from Afghanistan until all Americans have been successfully evacuated,” added Adrian Smith, a Republican.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.