United States President Joe Biden withdrew American troops from Afghanistan before the August 31 deadline given to the government by the Taliban. The insurgents took over the troubled country recently and now with the U.S. military and diplomatic withdrawal complete after 20 years in Afghanistan, the Taliban have also taken control of the Kabul airport, the site of an often-desperate evacuation effort the past two weeks.
But even as the last U.S. troops were flown out before the deadline, other Americans who wanted to flee Afghanistan were left behind and the Biden administration is now focused on a “diplomatic mission” to help them leave.
In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Biden said in a statement that the White House will continue to help the Americans left behind in Afghanistan through a diplomatic mission.
Biden reiterated that he was committed to keeping the U.S. military in Afghanistan as long as needed. Now that the American troops have left Afghanistan, there are no definite details yet on what the Biden administration will do to evacuate the other American citizens left in the area.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that people should “trust’ Biden regarding his commitment to getting Americans who remain in Afghanistan out. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that only around 100 Americans who want to leave Afghanistan remain in the country.
Around 500 Afghan journalists and their families who were employed by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) were left behind in Afghanistan — reporters, producers and more who worked for Voice of America and other U.S.-funded outlets, according to House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesperson Ned Price.
“We did not forget about USAGM employees and their families, nor will we. These individuals … have not only worked for us, they have worked with us,” Price said, adding: “We remain keenly focused on getting them out safely just as soon as we can.”
Price did not release details on the plans to help evacuate them but said they are looking for available options to bring them to safety.
As the U.S. troops left Kabul on Monday, the World Health Organization flew a plane into the country with the necessary aid, although it did not directly land at the Kabul airport.
Twelve and a half metric tons of urgent medical supplies were flown from WHO’s warehouse in Dubai to Mazar-i-Sharif airport. Their planes did not fly to Kabul airport because of ongoing disruptions in the area. The WHO assured that it is “exploring more options to get further shipments into the country until a reliable humanitarian airbridge to scale-up collective humanitarian effort is established.”