Nearly 450 American citizens are estimated to remain in Afghanistan almost two months after U.S. troops withdrew from the country, according to the Pentagon.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken originally said the Biden administration believed there to be “under 200, and likely closer to 100, who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,” on Aug. 30, the day before the last Anerican troops left Afghanistan.
State Department evacuation flights out of Afghanistan will resume by the end of the year, a senior State Department official told The Wall Street Journal.
The operation to retrieve U.S. citizens and Afghan allies left behind will require coordination with the Taliban and other governments, the official told The Wall Street Journal. Kabul’s international airport remains closed to regular passenger travel since the U.S. ended its first evacuation attempt on Aug. 31.
U.S. citizens, U.S. legal permanent residents and immediate family members will receive priority treatment in securing seats on evacuation flights, the official said. The State Department is hoping to eventually have several aircraft leave the country each week.
President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon, presenting a detailed defense of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and once again honoring the lives of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack last week.
Biden’s speech came the day of the deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the country. All U.S. troops were reportedly evacuated, though at least 100 Americans, possibly several hundred, remain.
CIA Director William J. Burns secretly met with the leader of the Taliban in Kabul on Monday, The Washington Post reported.
Burns met with Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s de-facto leader, in the highest-level in-person meeting between the Biden administration and the Taliban since the group seized Kabul, several U.S. officials told The Washington Post. The meeting took place amid the Biden administration’s continued efforts to withdraw American citizens and Afghan allies as the Taliban consolidates its rule.
The U.S. currently plans to withdraw all personnel by Aug. 31, but President Joe Biden indicated he could extend that time frame if there are still people left in Afghanistan.
Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, hyped reports last year that the Russian government paid bounties to kill American soldiers, an allegation that the Biden administration now says is based on inconclusive intelligence.
Schiff and Swalwell, along with other Democrats, used reports of the alleged bounty payments to accuse President Donald Trump of turning a blind eye to Russian aggression against the U.S.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence panel, accused Trump and other Republicans of refusing to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over the alleged bounties. In a tweet on Aug. 27, Schiff said that their silence put U.S. troops “in danger.”
A right-wing plot to storm the Capitol and remove lawmakers did not materialize on Thursday, after the FBI, DHS, and Capitol Police issued bulletins warning that they had intelligence identifying “credible threats” to that effect.
In dozens of reports, the corporate media hyped the “potential threat” of a QAnon uprising in our nation’s Capitol.
In response, the House of Representatives suspended its Thursday session and Capitol Police and National Guard troops went on “high alert.”
James Jeffrey – who is retiring from his posts as the Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS – reportedly said that “shell games” have been used to avoid telling U.S. leaders the true number of American troops in Syria.
“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said, according to Defense One.