State Department: Under 2,000 Americans waiting in Kabul

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Ukraine.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Wednesday that as many as 1,500 Americans may be waiting to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Blinken said the State Department estimates about 6,000 Americans wanted to leave Afghanistan when the airlift began Aug. 14, and that about 4,500 of them have been evacuated so far.

What does this mean for the Aug. 31 deadline? The 1,500 figure suggests that the airlift of Americans might be completed by Tuesday. But thousands of at-risk Afghans are struggling to get into the airport, and Blinken said everyone at the Kabul airport is in danger from the possibility of an Islamic State attack.

While some members of Congress have floated the idea of pushing back the Aug. 31 deadline, President Joe Biden has rejected the calls. The Taliban, which now controls Afghanistan, said it considers the date a “red line.” 

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report about U.S. forces repeatedly turning away a group of Afghan Christians at the Kabul airport.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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