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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 prior to now 5 days, the Pentagon mentioned 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 tug 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 employees, residents of NATO nations, at-risk Afghan nationals in addition to Afghan nationals who’ve certified for particular immigrant visas.

U.S. Military Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor mentioned that whereas the U.S. navy can airlift roughly 5,000 to 9,000 individuals a time out 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 had been evacuated on C-17 plane prior to now 24 hours, Taylor mentioned. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby estimated that about 300 of the passengers had been Individuals. Kirby instructed reporters Thursday he doesn’t know what number of U.S. residents are left in Afghanistan.

There are at present 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 Value instructed reporters Thursday.

An Afghan youngster sleeps on the cargo ground of a U.S. Air Drive C-17 Globemaster III, saved 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 present have the aptitude to securely escort Individuals to the airport for evacuation.

“I haven’t got the aptitude to exit and prolong operations at present into Kabul,” Austin mentioned 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 protected passage” to the airport.

America is counting on an settlement with the Taliban to ensure the protected passage of Individuals.

U.S. forces have opened one other safe gate on the airport to facilitate entry into the perimeter for evacuation, Kirby instructed reporters Thursday. There are roughly 5,200 troops securing the ability 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 means “to have gotten out with out chaos ensuing.”

“We’ll do all the pieces in our energy to get all Individuals out and our allies out,” Biden mentioned, including that he might 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 navy, 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 businesses, will purpose to elucidate how the nation plunged into full Taliban management. The labeled assembly may also give lawmakers a chance to be taught in regards to the unfolding safety state of affairs in Afghanistan, make clear U.S. conversations with the Taliban and supply an replace on evacuation efforts.

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