The Pentagon introduced on Saturday 17,000 folks have been evacuated from Afghanistan since final week after the Taliban ‘s progress within the area culminated in Sunday’s takeover of the capital metropolis of Kabul.
Military Main Gen. William Taylor mentioned that six U.S. C-17 plane and 32 constitution planes departed Kabul “inside the previous 24 hours,” noting the passenger depend on all of these flights was “roughly 3,800.”
“Because the finish of July, we have now relocated roughly 22,000 folks. Because the starting of this evacuation operation on Aug. 14, we have evacuated roughly 17,000,” Taylor mentioned throughout a press convention Saturday.
AFGHAN AMERICAN INTERPRETER PLEADS TO GET FAMILY OUT: ‘THIS IS NOT WHAT AMERICA IS’
The Military main common added that “quite a few C-17s are shifting between Qatar and Germany, offering important reduction that can enhance our enter to these intermediate staging bases, noting that “three flights landed at Dulles Worldwide Airport” between Friday and Saturday.
When requested about U.S. Embassy alerts on Saturday indicating “potential safety threats exterior the gates on the Kabul” and “advising U.S. residents to keep away from touring to the airport and to keep away from airport gates right now until you obtain particular person directions from a U.S. authorities consultant to take action,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned the “very, very fluid and dynamic” state of affairs on the airport “modifications virtually by the hour, and it modifications in areas across the airport.”
“So, what you are seeing out of our State Division colleagues, I believe, is prudent notification to ensure that no matter motion there may be to the gates from exterior the airport is completed as safely as doable and that individuals have the data they should make the perfect selections for themselves going ahead,” Kirby mentioned in response to the alert, declining to supply particular details about safety threats.
Pentagon officers didn’t specify how lots of the 17,000 evacuated since final week have been Afghan recipients of Particular Immigrant Visas or different eligible individuals for evacuation, however they estimated 2,500 U.S. residents have been included in that quantity. Kirby additionally mentioned officers would not have a concrete variety of U.S. residents remaining in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon spokesman mentioned protection officers are conscious of a “small variety of circumstances” by which some U.S. residents and Afghans have been “harassed and in some circumstances, overwhelmed,” including that “we do not consider it’s a very massive quantity.”
The scene at Kabul’s airport has been affected by chaos all through the week following a determined rush from lots of of Afghans to board evacuation flights on Sunday, with some folks falling to their deaths after trying to cling to the skin of the planes as they departed.
President Joe Biden mentioned Friday he would “mobilize each useful resource essential” to perform all evacuations.
“Let me be clear: Any American who needs to come back house, we are going to get you house,” Biden mentioned.
In a departure from his earlier efforts to withdraw all forces by Aug. 31, the president mentioned on Aug. 14 he would ship an extra 1,000 troops to Afghanistan to enrich the 1,000 troops already within the nation and the three,000-troop surge he introduced the week prior.