The United States is scrambling to let its citizens and allies withdraw Afghanistan After the Taliban took over Kabul, worries about the fate of the country grew.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated that US officials are working around the clock at Kabul Airport to ensure that those seeking to leave the country leave the country safely.
After a fierce Taliban offensive swept the country and arrived in Kabul on Sunday, Washington has moved its embassy in Kabul to Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA).
The airport is still under the control of thousands of US troops recently deployed to help evacuate Americans and Afghan civilians.
Sherman said at the press conference: “This is definitely an all-out effort to ensure the safety of our people and citizens, unite our allies and partners, and organize the evacuation of thousands of Afghans.”
The chaotic scenes of Afghans leaving the country on commercial and U.S. military aircraft have shaken confidence in the US President Joe Biden’s government’s promise to help Afghans working with the United States leave the country.
But U.S. officials said that the airport has become operate After the flight was suspended the day before, it was again on Tuesday.
Access to the airport
After initial reports that the Taliban had blocked the road to the airport, U.S. officials said on Tuesday that the organization had Agree to allow A “safe passage” to the Hong Kong International Airport, but Sherman said that the US State Department is receiving reports that the Afghan group has violated that commitment.
“Our team in Doha and our local military partners in Kabul directly approached the Taliban to make it clear that we want them to allow all American citizens, all third-country nationals, and all Afghans who wish to leave to leave safely and without harassment,” Schell Man told reporters.
Nevertheless, she asserted that “many many” people have been able to reach the airport.
The Pentagon said that the Taliban allowed Americans to enter the airport, but the Afghans were facing difficulties.
U.S. top general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milli said on Wednesday that the U.S. military receives about 500 U.S. passport holders into Kabul Airport through two entrance gates every hour.
Milly added that the United States intends to successfully evacuate all Americans from the country.
“All American citizens want to leave Afghanistan; they are our number one priority,” Milli said. “In addition, we intend to evacuate those who have supported us for many years, and we will not let them fall behind. We will go out as much as possible.”
According to the general, the United States currently has approximately 4,500 soldiers at the airport, and this number is expected to increase to 6,000.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that Washington is urging the Taliban to also allow Afghans to go to the airport.
“There is no hostile interaction with the Taliban, and our communication channels with the Taliban commander remain open,” Austin said.
Sherman said that in the past 24 hours, about 2,000 people have been airlifted from Kabul on military flights, and US officials have processed more than 4,800 visas for Afghans.
Sherman said that the State Department will nearly double the number of local consular officers in Kabul in the next few days to help with visas and evacuation.
She said U.S. officials “are working tirelessly, with little sleep, if any, to help American citizens, third-country nationals, and Afghans who are worried about their lives and want to leave the country.”
Washington has set a deadline for the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan on August 31, but the State Department said it will continue operations on the ground whenever possible.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday: “We will try to maintain a speed of one thousand miles per hour.” “This is what we have been doing; this is what we will continue to do as long as we can Do it.”
Ghani “is no longer a character”: the United States
The U.S. government has Facing criticism Failed to help people earlier before the Taliban took control of the country.
But government officials said that at the request of the Afghan government, they postponed the evacuation. At the time, the Afghan government believed that a large-scale evacuation might trigger panic that the Taliban could use.
The Taliban occupied the country with a lightning attack and arrived in Kabul with the President on Sunday Ashraf Ghani escaped This country effectively confirmed the downfall of the Afghan government.
On Wednesday, General Milli stated that the rapid takeover of the Taliban was unpredictable.
He said: “Neither I nor anyone else saw any signs that this army collapsed within 11 days.” Later he was wrong.
Earlier in the day, the United Arab Emirates announced Hosting Ghani on humanitarian groundsHowever, Sherman of the State Department denied the importance of his whereabouts.
“We saw the UAE announce this morning that Ghani is welcomed by the government, and that is… he is no longer a figure in Afghanistan,” Sherman said on Wednesday.
She suggested that the UAE’s reception of Ghani would not affect the relationship between Abu Dhabi and Washington.
“We have a very good relationship with the UAE,” Sherman told reporters at a press conference.