US facilitates Afghanistan evacuation of 4 Americans by overland route

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The State Department said it “facilitated the safe departure” of four U.S. citizens from Afghanistan on Monday, noting that the Taliban “was aware” and did not interfere in the evacuation. 

A senior State Department official said the evacuation was done “by overland route from Afghanistan.” 

“Embassy staff was present upon their arrival,” the official said. “They were in good condition.” 

The official said that the “Taliban was aware and did not impede their transit.” 

The State Department announcement came after Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said that an American family he had been working to get out of Afghanistan was successfully evacuated Monday morning. The family consisted of a mother and her three children – all of whom are American citizens. 

It is unclear whether or not the State Department was referring to the same people, or four other U.S. citizens.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, is welcomed upon his arrival by MFA Director of Protocol Ambassador Ibrahim Fakhroo at Old Doha Airport in Qatar’s capital Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.
(Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo via AP)

The Biden administration this weekend said that “around 100” Americans remain in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of all U.S. troops, and the evacuation of more than 124,000, which included 6,000 American citizens. 

White House chief of staff Ron Klain told CNN that the administration is “in touch with all of them who we have identified on a regular basis.” 

Klain added that the administration is “hopeful that, in the coming days, Qataris will be able to resume air service out of Kabul.” 

“And if they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be part of those flights,” Klain said. “We are going to find ways to get them – the ones that want to leave – to get them out of Afghanistan.” 

Administration officials said that many of those who remain in Afghanistan have family members in the region and “want to stay.”

“But the ones that want to leave, we’re going to get them out, as the president said,” Klain said, maintaining that the troop withdrawal on Aug. 31 was simply a transition “from a military mission to a diplomatic mission to get the remaining Americans and the Afghan or Afghan allies, the so-called SIVs, out of the country.” 

He added: “And we continue to work on that.”

Meanwhile, the State Department on Monday said that the U.S. is working “quickly and with precision” to ensure U.S. citizens and “at-risk Afghan civilians” are able to reach their ultimate destinations “safely and efficiently.”

The State Department added that “dedicated intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center, and additional Intelligence Community partners, are working around the clock to expedite the processing and vetting of Afghans before they are allowed into the United States. This includes reviews of both biographic and biometric data.” 

The State Department noted that nearly 40,000 people have departed overseas processing sites and have arrived in the United States. 

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