About 1,500 Americans remain in Afghanistan, Blinken says

A total of 82,300 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan, he said.

Updated: August 25, 2021 - 5:35pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that about 1,500 Americans are left in Afghanistan, waiting to be evacuated.

Since Aug. 14, there have been 82,300 people evacuated from Afghanistan, with 4,500 of them holding U.S. passports, Blinken said, according to The Hill.

A deadline of Aug. 31 was set for the U.S. to completely withdraw from Afghanistan, and President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that they were on track with having everyone evacuated by then.

The total number of Americans is changing nearly every hour, Blinken added, and 500 to 1,500 Americans are in direct contact with U.S. diplomats regarding how to get to the Kabul airport.

"For the remaining roughly 1,000 contacts that we had, who may be Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan, we're aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day through multiple channels of communication, phone, email, text messaging to determine whether they still want to leave, and to get the most up to date information and instructions to them for how to do so," the secretary of state said.

About 45-46% of those evacuated are women and children, Blinken said.

It is not yet clear as to who the groups of people are that have been evacuated, but the Biden administration is prioritizing relatives of Americans, U.S. long-term permanent residents, Afghans who have aided the U.S., those holding Special Immigrant Visas, and foreign nationals and Afghans who may be targeted by the Taliban because of their work, ethnicity, or gender, The Hill reported.

"The Taliban have made public and private commitments to provide and permit safe passage for Americans, for third country nationals and Afghans at risk, going forward past August 31," Blinken said.

"The United States, our allies and partners, and more than half of the world's countries, 114 at all, issued a statement, making it clear to the Taliban that they have a responsibility to hold to that commitment, and provide safe passage for anyone who wishes to leave the country, not just for the duration of our evacuation and relocation mission, but for every day thereafter."