The top US diplomat in Afghanistan on Tuesday denied reports that he left the capital city of Kabul on an evacuation flight after the Taliban took control of the country.
Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson said that embassy he, along with several staff members, were still in the country and have been working to help thousands of US citizens and vulnerable Afghans leave.
“Contrary to false reports, [US Embassy in Kabul] staff & I remain in Kabul working hard to help 1000s of U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans & continuing engagement here. Our commitment to the Afghan people endures,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.
Contrary to false reports, @USEmbassyKabul staff & I remain in #Kabul working hard to help 1000s of U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans & continuing engagement here. Our commitment to the Afghan people endures.— Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson (@USAmbKabul) August 17, 2021
Chaos broke out in Afghanistan in recent days as the Taliban swept across the country, taking over Kabul this weekend while the US was finalizing its withdrawal of troops, diplomats, and Afghans who worked with the coalition over the last 20 years.
The US embassy said it would continue to help citizens attempting to leave the country, and has sent thousands of troops to help.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he authorized 6,000 troops to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the departure.
“I have authorized 6,000 US troops to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the departure of US and Allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan — and to evacuate our Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans to safety outside the country,” he wrote on Twitter.
Our current military mission will be short in time and focused in its objectives:— President Biden (@POTUS) August 17, 2021
Get our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible.
And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal. We will end America’s longest war.
Flights from Kabul airport – the only exit point out of Afghanistan – were suspended for most of Monday after at least seven people were reportedly killed when chaos erupted as hundreds crowded the tarmacs, clenching onto moving flights in an attempt to flee the country on the already-full flights.