(Washington) The American flag was drawn from the US embassy in Kabul on Monday, whose “almost all” employees at the airport are waiting to be evacuated, the State Department announced hours after the Taliban entered the capital.
Posted on August 15, 2021 at 10:02 am Updated at 10:20 pm
Washington and some 65 allied countries have also urged the insurgents to safely flee Afghans trying to flee the country and to exercise their responsibility to “protect human life” as many Kabulis panic.
“We are currently implementing a number of measures to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of US and Allied personnel to Afghanistan on civil and military flights,” the State Department and the Pentagon said in a joint statement.
The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, is also at the airport, said a State Department spokesman.
“Over the next 48 hours, we will have expanded our security presence to nearly 6,000 military personnel with a mission focused solely on facilitating these efforts and taking over air traffic control,” the statement said.
“Tomorrow (Monday) and in the next few days we will refer thousands of US citizens who have been in Afghanistan, as well as local employees of the US mission in Kabul and their families, as well as other Afghans out of the country.” the text.
“Almost all of the embassy staff has been relocated to a location at Hamid Karzai Airport. The American flag was removed from the American embassy complex and brought to safety at the embassy staff, ”said the State Department spokesman.
Almost 2,000 Afghans eligible for the special immigration program have already arrived in the United States in the past two weeks.
The evacuation of thousands of other people eligible for this program will be “accelerated,” the State Department said. Afghans who have passed all levels of security are sent straight to the US, while the process takes place in “third places” for those who have not completed it.
In a separate statement, the United States and 65 other countries, including many Western states, also called on the Taliban to allow anyone who wishes to flee the country to do so.
“In view of the deteriorating security situation, we plead and work to ensure that all parties respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of all foreign and Afghan citizens who want to leave the country,” says the text.
“Those who hold positions of power and authority across Afghanistan are responsible” […] to protect human life and property and to restore security and civil order immediately, ”he emphasizes.
“Roads, airports and border posts must remain open and calm must be maintained.” “The Afghan people deserve to live in security and dignity. We, the international community, stand ready to help them, ”concluded the countries.