The United States has no plans to evacuate Americans in Afghanistan who are outside Kabul, according to a report released Tuesday.
Officials from various departments – including State and Defense – informed members of the Senate in a briefing Tuesday morning that they did not know how to get these Americans through the Taliban checkpoints in the area. outside Kabul, the location of the main airport, the Washington Post reported, citing two Senate aides.
Neither the State Department nor the Defense Department immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment after hours.
Meanwhile, US Senator Tom Cotton’s office has set up a hotline for Americans – including those who are essentially “trapped behind Taliban lines,” the Military Times reported.
“The situation is dire,” said the Arkansas Republican. “But we’ll do everything in our power to keep you informed and help you get through this.”
A former State Department contractor told Fox News that Taliban fighters have also established checkpoints in Kabul and around the airport. Some, according to the source, beat people on their way to the airport.
The precise number of Americans outside Kabul was not immediately clear, but as many as 15,000 could still be in Afghanistan, the Post reported. The Taliban have been on the offensive across the country for weeks. At a press briefing later Tuesday, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the Taliban had expressed their willingness to provide “safe passage for civilians at the airport,” according to the report. report.
The United States would force the Taliban to keep that promise, he added.
A CBS reporter asked Sullivan if US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan before all Americans and their Afghan allies were out. He said he would not comment on any assumptions.
Sullivan did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
He tweeted on Tuesday: “When I was asked if we were going to get all Americans out of Afghanistan, I said ‘this is what we intend to do’ and that is exactly what we are doing. will do, and we are doing right now with HKIA re-opened and operational, thanks to the incredible work of our troops and diplomats.
The State Department told U.S. citizens and others seeking to leave Afghanistan on Tuesday that they should “shelter in place” until they receive further instructions from the US embassy. United States in a context of fragile security in the Afghan capital.
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“Our message remains for American citizens and for those who have expressed an interest in resettlement outside of Afghanistan: shelter in place until and unless you receive a communication from the American Embassy,” he said. spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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