Kabul (AFP) – 16/08/2021. 04:52
All US Embassy staff at Kabul Airport
US flag pulled from US embassy in Kabul
- Biden sends 1,000 more troops to Kabul to secure evacuations
Almost all of the embassy staff are at the airport, waiting to be evacuated
On Sunday night, the US State Department announced that the flag would be lowered at the US Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul.
She added that “almost all the employees are now” at the airport, noting that she had taken steps to secure Kabul Airport.
“We are currently taking a series of measures to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport, in order to allow the safe departure” of US personnel and their allies from Afghanistan “on civilian and military flights,” the US Departments of State and Defense said in a joint statement.
A State Department spokesman said the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, was also at the airport and was in contact with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden decided to send an additional 1,000 troops to Kabul to secure the evacuation of thousands of American and Afghan civilians, according to a Pentagon official, while the Taliban group seized power in Afghanistan.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said that six thousand soldiers would arrive in the Afghan capital “in the coming days”, at a time when scenes of panic spread on social media at Kabul airport.
Another State Department official said “several hundreds” of US embassy employees in Kabul had left Afghanistan.
The official told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that Kabul International Airport remains open for commercial flights, at a time when the evacuation of Americans and Afghans who helped the United States and who now fear for their lives continue.
The US Department of Defense estimates 30,000 of the total number of US diplomats, citizens, or Afghans who have helped the United States and now fear for their lives to be evacuated.
American helicopters continued to fly non-stop on Sunday between the airport and the headquarters of the American embassy, which is located in the fortified “Green Zone” in the center of the capital.
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