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U.S. evacuates 7,000 from Afghanistan in 5 days, hundreds extra able to board planes in Kabul

A U.S. Air Drive C-17 Globemaster III.

U.S. Air Drive | Flickr CC

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has airlifted about 7,000 individuals out of Kabul, Afghanistan, by cargo plane up to now 5 days, the Pentagon stated Thursday, as U.S. forces race to evacuate as many individuals as attainable with lower than two weeks earlier than a self-imposed deadline to drag in another country.

For the reason that finish of July, the U.S. has evacuated roughly 12,000 individuals from Afghanistan, a determine that features Americans, U.S. Embassy workers, residents of NATO international locations, at-risk Afghan nationals in addition to Afghan nationals who’ve certified for particular immigrant visas.

U.S. Military Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor stated that whereas the U.S. army can airlift roughly 5,000 to 9,000 individuals a day trip of Kabul, that determine depends on “who’s on the airfield, prepared to depart a holding space and get on the plane.”

Greater than 2,000 individuals have been evacuated on C-17 plane up to now 24 hours, Taylor stated. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby estimated that about 300 of the passengers have been People. Kirby advised reporters Thursday he doesn’t know what number of U.S. residents are left in Afghanistan.

There are at the moment 6,000 individuals on the airport who’ve been absolutely processed by the U.S. for evacuation and are ready to board planes, State Division spokesman Ned Worth advised reporters Thursday.

An Afghan baby sleeps on the cargo flooring of a U.S. Air Drive C-17 Globemaster III, stored heat by the uniform of the C-17 loadmaster, throughout an evacuation flight from Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2021.

U.S. Air Drive Courtesy Picture

The newest revelation comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin’s admission that the Pentagon doesn’t at the moment have the potential to soundly escort People to the airport for evacuation.

“I haven’t got the potential to exit and lengthen operations at the moment into Kabul,” Austin stated when requested about those that can not attain the gates of Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul as a result of they’re behind Taliban checkpoints.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a dire warning on Wednesday to U.S. residents there stating that it “can not guarantee secure passage” to the airport.

The US is counting on an settlement with the Taliban to ensure the secure passage of People.

U.S. forces have opened one other safe gate on the airport to facilitate entry into the perimeter for evacuation, Kirby advised reporters Thursday. There are roughly 5,200 troops securing the power and serving to with flight evacuations.

In an interview with ABC Information, President Joe Biden defended his choice to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying that there was not a manner “to have gotten out with out chaos ensuing.”

“We’ll do the whole lot in our energy to get all People out and our allies out,” Biden stated, including that he could contemplate extending the Aug. 31 deadline of a full troop withdrawal.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

Regardless of being vastly outnumbered by the Afghan army, which has been assisted by U.S. and NATO coalition forces for the final 20 years, the Taliban seized Kabul on Sunday.

Subsequent week, members of the Home Intelligence Committee are slated to obtain a labeled briefing on the continued disaster in Afghanistan, a committee official confirmed to NBC Information.

The briefing, which is able to contain a number of U.S. intelligence companies, will goal to clarify how the nation plunged into full Taliban management. The labeled assembly can even give lawmakers a possibility to be taught concerning the unfolding safety scenario in Afghanistan, make clear U.S. conversations with the Taliban and supply an replace on evacuation efforts.

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