The United States evacuated 3,900 people from Afghanistan on Saturday, bringing the total in the last week to about 25,000, amid an “incredibly volatile” situation outside the Kabul airport , the White House reported this Sunday.
This is the latest official update, which does not specify how many are Americans and how many are Afghans, in the evacuation efforts by the US government from Afghanistan.
The White House official who provided the information, on condition of anonymity, noted that the departures had occurred on both civilian and military flights.
For his part, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that the situation around the airfield is “incredibly volatile” and acknowledged that the “Taliban control Kabul”, which makes exit operations difficult.
“That is the reality. That is the reality that we have to deal with,” Blinken said in an interview on CBS television.
For this reason, he admitted, “a requirement of the job now is to be in contact with the Taliban” to guarantee safe access to the airport, despite reports of blockade and harassment of Afghans who try to access the airfield to board any of the evacuation flights.
Thousands of people crowd at the entrance to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul with the aim of getting on one of the planes to leave the country, amid the chaos that is experienced after the takeover of the capital by the Taliban a week ago.
According to White House estimates, there are still between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans in Afghanistan who need to be evacuated, in addition to between 50,000 and 65,000 Afghans and their families whom the US also wants to remove from the country.
This Sunday, the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, requested the assistance of several commercial airlines of the United States in the evacuation efforts of Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Pentagon reported that the airlines American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Airlines, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines will participate with 18 aircraft, although it stressed that they will not fly to Kabul and will focus on “the movement of passengers from secure temporary bases and temporary transit centers”.
The United States has reached agreements with various countries, including Germany, Qatar, Spain and Bahrain, to temporarily host Americans, applicants for special visas and Afghans at risk in transit to the United States.