Senior officials at the White House have vowed to bring the remaining 300 Americans back to the US before the August 31st deadline on Tuesday, amidst growing tensions in Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said, “This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days.” This comment was passed just before the confirmation of an airstrike in Kabul, for which a security alert was issued hours before the military action. American authorities instructed people to leave the airport area immediately “due to a specific, credible threat.”
Jake Sullivan, said that for those US citizens seeking immediately to leave Afghanistan by the looming deadline, “we have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining. We moved out more than that number just yesterday. So from our point of view, there is an opportunity right now for American citizens to come, to be admitted to the airport and to be evacuated safely and effectively.”
Speaking about the plan after the 31st, he pledged the US “will make sure there is safe passage for any American citizen, any legal permanent resident” after Tuesday, as well as for “those Afghans who helped us.” He also said that while the airport is critical, “there are other ways to leave Afghanistan, including by road and many countries border Afghanistan.” The US, he said, is “making sure that we have in place all of the necessary tools and means to facilitate the travel for those who seek to leave Afghanistan” after Tuesday.