The US flag at Afghanistan’s Kabul embassy has been lowered and ‘almost all’ staff have been transferred to the airport, the US State Department said.
The US Department of State and US Department of Defense said in a joint statement that they are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of US and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights.
“Over the next 48 hours, we will have expanded our security presence to nearly 6,000 troops, with a mission focused solely on facilitating these efforts and will be taking over air traffic control,” the statement added.
The statement added that US will be transferring out of the country thousands of American citizens who have been resident in Afghanistan, as well as locally employed staff of the US mission in Kabul and their families and other particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals.
Some 4,200 people remained in the US embassy until Thursday, when the Taliban’s rapid gains forced the Biden administration to begin flying in thousands of troops to help pull many of the remaining diplomats out.
The US’ original mission in Afghanistan, launched to oust al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, had been fulfilled, Blinken said, saying Washington had prevented further attacks by militants harbored by the Taliban.
- with Reuters
Former US president Trump calls for Biden to resign over Taliban takeover of KabulFormer US president Donald Trump called for his successor Joe Biden to resign on Sunday over the swift takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban militants, ... World News
US moves embassy staff to airport as Taliban enters Afghanistan’s capital KabulUS embassy staff in Kabul were leaving the compound and moving to the airport, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, as Taliban insurgents ... World News
Egypt’s Sisi and CIA director Burns discuss Mideast tensions, AfghanistanUS Central Intelligence Agency chief William Burns met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday for talks on the situation in the Palestinian ... Middle East