Washington — The United States has no plans to resume military-led evacuation flights from Afghanistan, but is working to make existing charter flights more frequent, the State Department said Thursday.
“The idea of resuming evacuation flights before August 31 is not accurate,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a briefing. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Washington would resume evacuation flights by the end of the year, citing an unidentified official from the State Department.
“Charter flights are a daily occurrence,” Price said. “Our goal is to make them more routine and facilitate the departure of Americans, legal permanent residents, etc., in order to give them some degree of automation.”
The US occupation of Afghanistan over 20 years culminated in a hasty organized air transport in August, evacuating more than 124,000 civilians, including Americans and Afghanistan, when the Taliban took over. However, thousands of other US alliance Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution have been left behind.
President Joe Biden and others in his administration have vowed to continue their efforts to drive them out.
Hundreds of people were evacuated on charter flights organized by a group of veterans, some promoted by the United States. Washington also assisted people leaving Afghanistan by land.
Mr Price added that since August 31, the United States has encouraged the departure of 129 US citizens and 115 legal permanent residents.
“Our goal is to work with our partners to ensure that these flights are more regular,” he said.
Simon Lewis, Susan Heavy, Humeirah Pamuk