85 People have left Afghanistan for the reason that US accomplished its withdrawal
Afghan passengers are pictured in front of a Qatar Airways plane at Kabul International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 19, 2021.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry | via Reuters
WASHINGTON – A commercial flight carrying 21 Americans and 48 legal permanent US citizens took off from Kabul, Afghanistan over the weekend, the State Department confirmed on Monday.
In total, at least 85 American citizens and 79 legal permanent residents have left Afghanistan since the US ended a massive humanitarian evacuation and completed the withdrawal of its troops in August, according to the State Department.
“We are grateful to the Qatari authorities who continue to coordinate these flights with the Taliban,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price on Monday. The Biden administration is still working to assist American citizens, lawful residents and vulnerable Afghans to leave the country, Price added.
The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan last month sparked chaotic efforts by the US and its allies to get their citizens and vulnerable Afghans out of the country. As of August 31, approximately 125,000 people, including approximately 6,000 US citizens and their families, had been evacuated from the country.
But not all made it in time. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers last week that around 100 US citizens are still seeking evacuation from Afghanistan.
Blinken blamed the Trump administration for the US’s chaotic exit from its longest war, saying, “We inherited a deadline; we inherited no plan.”
“For nine months, until March 2020, there was not a single interview as part of the Special Immigrant Visa Program in Kabul. The program was basically at a dead end, ”said Blinken on September 13th.
“We made the right decision to end America’s longest war. We made the right decision not to send a third generation of Americans to Afghanistan to fight and die,” said Blinken.
President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s takeover. Biden was forced to order the temporary deployment of thousands of US soldiers to Kabul last month to help with the evacuation effort.
Thirteen US soldiers and dozens of Afghans died during an evacuation in an ISIS-K suicide attack on Kabul airport. A subsequent US drone attack in Kabul killed up to ten civilians in what the Pentagon described as a tragic mistake.