The Taliban insisted that the US’s Afghanistan deadline is August 31. In a few days, the American military will need to load the last of remaining US forces in the country, never to return in the same capacity. Before that, they still need to account and take home around 1,500 Americans that remain in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Deadline Less Than A Week Away
With the Afghanistan deadline less than a week away, the evacuation is becoming increasingly difficult. Citing terror threats, the US Embassy issued a security alert.
It advised Americans still in the country to not proceed to the Hamid Karzai International Airport. At the same time, the advisory also said that all Americans already at the airport should leave for the States immediately.
“US citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately,” the alert said. Officials also issued warnings that the Taliban are now attempting to attack military troops and civilians going to or at the airport.
1,500 Americans Still In Afghanistan
Last Wednesday, the Biden administration gave an official count of how many Americans are still in Afghanistan. Previously, the US military evacuated around 4,500 Americans before Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Officials said that as many as 1,500 US citizens remain in the country. State officials said that they are currently in a contract with 500 Americans and currently trying to evacuate them.
However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the remaining 1,000 Americans remain unaccounted for. At present, government officials are still trying to make contact. Blinked clarified that some of the 1,000 may not even be American citizens. The rest may have left the country already or plan to stay.
Leaving Some Afghans Behind
In addition, officials said that the number of Americans evacuated and those remaining in Afghanistan doesn’t include lawful permanent US residents. These are green card holders that allow them to live and work in the United States.
At the same time, the Biden White House also outlined preparations for the possibility that Afghans and other US allies will remain in the country even as the last US soldier leaves.
Blinken gave an assurance that the US will look after them even after the Afghanistan deadline. “They will not be forgotten,” Blinken said. He added that the US and allied forces will “ensure that those who want to leave Afghanistan after the 31st are able to do so.”
No Deadline To Leave Afghanistan
Blinken emphasized that the US has no deadlines to help their citizens and Afghan allies leave. “That effort will continue every day past August 31st.
The Taliban have made public and private commitments to provide and permit safe passage for Americans, for third-country nationals and Afghans at risk going forward past August 31st,” he said. Blinken added that the US and other countries will hold the Taliban to that commitment.
In addition, President Joe Biden asked Pentagon and State officials to prepare contingency plans for extending evacuation operations beyond the Afghanistan deadline on August 31. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed the drafting of the plans.
However, the Pentagon will not outline any of the possible scenarios. Kirby also said that the evacuation needs to remove all military personnel and equipment by the Afghanistan deadline. However, they will continue evacuating Afghans until operations conclude. He did not elaborate on when the operation would end.
Watch the Reuters video reporting that some 1500 Americans are still in Afghanistan:
Do you think that the US will manage to account for and evacuate all Americans from Kabul before the Afghanistan deadline? Do you think the US military can pull this off without violence?
Let us know what you think will happen when the Afghanistan deadline approaches. Share your thoughts below.