US has no resources to go beyond airport, State Department says


This satellite image from Planet Labs shows people on the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021.
This satellite image from Planet Labs shows people on the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021. Planet Labs, Inc./AP

The State Department on Wednesday sent a notice to thousands of local Kabul embassy employees telling them they can get to the airport for evacuation flights, according to the message reviewed by CNN.

Some Afghans who arrived at the airport were bloodied and mentally distraught, having lost most of their belongings along the way, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

But some decided they didn’t even want to continue the perilous journey even though they desperately wanted to leave the country, multiple sources told CNN. Others who took the dangerous risk had to turn back after facing an untenable situation.

“I decided that I would rather have the Taliban shoot me in the head to get stuck in this situation,” said an Afghan who worked at the embassy for years, describing his trip to CNN.

He drove to the airport with his family, including young children, at 4 a.m. local time only to find himself caught in a horde of thousands on the outskirts of the airport, causing him made fear for his life. He saw his 2 year old son become dehydrated and the men tried to touch his wife inappropriately. The doors have been closed for too long.

“We had to go home,” said the Afghan, describing people with guns and knives among the mass of the population. “I will not be going back. The Americans have left me in a terrible situation. They know that. They put our family’s life in danger.

The US military is in communication with the local Taliban commander on the ground in Kabul, and they discuss “making sure Afghans at risk, special immigrant visa applicants and other Afghan citizens we want to cross. can cross. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a camera briefing on Thursday.

Kirby noted reports of some hostile actions by the Taliban towards the Afghans on the way to the airport, but overall US officials say the Taliban are largely fulfilling their commitment to ensure safe passage and before the evidence: the Afghans and the Americans who were able to get to the airport.

President Biden said yesterday that the United States plans to evacuate between 50,000 and 65,000 Afghans in total, a figure that includes the Afghan visa and refugee seekers and their families.

Biden did not pledge to maintain the presence of US troops at Kabul airport until that number of Afghans were evacuated, but he said the presence of US troops would remain in place until such time. that all Americans who wish to leave the country be out.

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