A senior White House official told reporters Tuesday that the United States has already evacuated 3,200 people from Afghanistan, a number the government hopes to increase in the coming days.
The evacuations come after the United States resumed military flights at Kabul airport, Monday, after being cut short by the chaos that erupted in the previous hours as hundreds of Afghans stuck to runways trying to climb flights intended to evacuate Americans. And their allies.
According to the aforementioned official, Washington has evacuated 3,200 people from Afghanistan in recent days, including diplomats.
This Tuesday alone, 1,100 US citizens, permanent residents and their families were evacuated from Afghanistan aboard 13 military aircraft.
“Now that we’ve established this flow, we expect those numbers to increase,” the official said.
With military flights operating again, the Pentagon plans to leave every hour a US military plane from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
The Pentagon estimates it can remove 5,000 to 9,000 evacuees per day, including Americans and its embassy staff, as well as Afghan collaborators.
So far, 2,000 Afghan collaborators have been able to get them to the United States on a special visa known as a SIV, created by the US Congress to give refuge to those foreign nationals who face threats to their business with Washington.
On Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at her daily press briefing that there are currently about 11,000 people in Afghanistan who identify as “American citizens.”
The Taliban took control of Kabul on Sunday after their fighters entered the capital without meeting resistance, with almost all provinces in control, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled.
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