WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. subject airlift of Americans and others from Kabul volition proceed until the last hours of President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending the frantic evacuation from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
John Kirby, the main Pentagon spokesman, said much than 4,400 American citizens person been evacuated frankincense far, an summation of astir 400 from Tuesday. More than 80,000 people, mostly Afghans, person been airlifted since Aug. 14, helium said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was to elaborate aboriginal Wednesday connected details of the evacuation of Americans. The State Department has not publically said however galore Americans it believes are inactive hoping to leave.
Kirby said the U.S. subject volition sphere arsenic overmuch subject airlift capableness astatine the Kabul airdrome arsenic imaginable successful the coming days. The subject volition “continue to evacuate needed populations each the mode to the end,” helium said. He added that successful the last days and hours determination volition person to beryllium a equilibrium successful getting retired evacuees arsenic good arsenic U.S. troops and their equipment.
The fig of U.S. troops astatine the airdrome has dropped by astir 400, helium said, to 5,400, but the last withdrawal has not yet begun.
Kirby said that successful coming days, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin volition consult straight with Gen. Frank McKenzie, the caput of Central Command and overseer of the evacuation operation, earlier McKenzie moves up with the last withdrawal.
Biden said Tuesday that though helium is sticking with his self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline for ending the evacuation, helium has asked Austin and Blinken to supply him with contingency plans successful the lawsuit that timeline needs to beryllium adjusted.
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