Status of remaining Americans trapped in Afghanistan unclear
Fox News contributor Daniel Hoffman and former foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama join ‘Fox News @ Night’ to discuss the chaotic withdrawal from the troubled Middle East nation
The White House said Thursday that there continue to be “active” threats from ISIS-K in Afghanistan, and that officials are in “close touch” with the roughly 100 American citizens remaining in the country following the U.S. military withdrawal.
During a press briefing Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said that the number of Americans still in Afghanistan following the full U.S. troop withdrawal on Monday is “closer to 100.”
“We are in close touch with the State Department, our diplomatic officials, with all of these individuals and are working in close coordination to discuss how they can leave the country, and if they can leave the country,” Psaki said.
Psaki, touching on reports of potential charter flights to aid those Americans, said that the United States does not have personnel on the ground in Afghanistan, and confirmed that the U.S. “does not control air space.”
“There are active, continue to be active, ISIS-K threats,” Psaki said, adding that there is “concern” about these potential charter flights and “where these flights go,” as ISIS has a “keen interest” in aviation targets.
“We are joined by over 100 countries that are determined to make sure the Taliban uphold those commitments,” Biden said, adding that would “include ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport, as well as overland routes, allowing for continued departure to those who want to leave and deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”
“The Taliban has made public commitments broadcast on television and radio across Afghanistan on safe passage for anyone wanting to leave, including those who worked alongside Americans,” Biden said. “We don’t take them by their word alone. But by their actions. And we have leverage to make sure those commitments are met.”
The White House, earlier this week, said that around 124,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan, prior to the full withdrawal of U.S. military assets Monday evening.
The Biden administration has said the mission to evacuate remaining American citizens and Afghan allies from Taliban Afghanistan has shifted from a military to a “diplomatic mission.”
Meanwhile, Psaki, on Thursday, said the administration is looking to help individuals who want to leave Afghanistan, noting that some may be eligible for a range of U.S. programs, like Special Immigrant Visas, P1, P2, and others.
“Everybody who wants to leave Afghanistan and come to the United States will not able to and will not be eligible to,” Psaki explained, while noting, however that the administration is assessing, and doing “extensive outreach through diplomatic channels to see how many people there are and what programs they’ll be eligible for.”
And as for the ISIS-K threat, top Pentagon official Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said Wednesday said it is “possible” the U.S. will work with the Taliban to address that threat.
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