United States Senators were reportedly told, during a briefing on the Afghanistan situation on Tuesday, that there are no official plans to evacuate all Americans from the quickly deteriorating country, particularly those who are outside of Kabul.
National security advisor Jake Sullivan said later Tuesday that the U.S. intends to rescue all Americans trapped in Afghanistan, though he declined to give specifics and would not commit to leaving American troops in the country past August 31st if there are still American citizens who have not been evacuated.
The Washington Post, quoting unnamed Senate aides, reported that Biden “administration officials — from the State and Defense departments, as well as the National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff — also told the assembled Senate staffers that there is no plan to evacuate Americans who are outside Kabul, as they do not have a way of getting through the Taliban checkpoints outside the Afghan capital.”
The Biden administration refused to comment on how many Americans are outside of Kabul but reportedly told Senators that between 10,000 and 15,000 American citizens are still in Afghanistan waiting to be evacuated.
NBC’s Richard Engel, who is reporting from Kabul, said Wednesday that the evacuation process appears to be “picking up” and that the U.S. military is slowly evacuating Americans and Afghan citizens with approved visas.
“At kabul airport, military side, more order than before,” he tweeted. “Evacuations picking up. Seeing more Afghan families being taken through. Planes taking off. Base well guarded.”
On Monday, the U.S. evacuated just 700 people. The Washington Post said Wednesday that “the United States evacuated some 1,100 U.S. citizens, permanent residents and their families on Tuesday.”
White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said later Tuesday that although there is no official plan, the U.S. intends to evacuate its citizens, though the Taliban stands in the way.
“At a news briefing later Tuesday, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the Taliban expressed a willingness to provide ‘safe passage of civilians to the airport,’” Fox News said.
“When I was asked about whether we’re going to get all Americans out of Afghanistan I said ‘that’s what we intend to do’ and that’s exactly what we’ll do, and are accomplishing right now with HKIA re-opened and operational, thanks to the incredible work of our troops and diplomats,” Sullivan added on Twitter. He did not say, when asked by a CBS reporter, that troops would stay in Afghanistan until all Americans have been rescued.
In a missive that went out to diplomats on Tuesday afternoon, The Daily Wire reported, the State Department told Americans that it “cannot guarantee” their safety if they choose to leave shelter and make their way to the airport, leaving Sullivan’s statements in question.
Thank you for registering your request to be evacuated from Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has confirmed that an undefined number of U.S. govern1nentprovided fligl1ts will begin soon. Please make your way to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY AS YOU MAKE THIS TRIP.
House Democrats say they’ve requested more information from the Biden administration on how it plans to evacuate the some 50,000 individuals who were given the green light for safe passage out of Afghanistan when the U.S. pulled its military.
“We are gravely concerned for the many people — U.S. citizens, Afghan allies and their families, women, NGO employees, journalists, and so many others — stuck in Afghanistan fearing for their lives and the future of the country,” Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) wrote in a letter to the White House Tuesday. “It is this administration’s moral obligation to leverage all available resources to help as many people as possible to safety in the United States. There is no time to waste.”
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