The U.S. operation is focused on local U.S. embassy personnel in Kabul, with 150 U.S. citizens yet to arrive at the airport.
The operation to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan staff at the U.S. Embassy will end within 36 hours. This was reported by CNN on Thursday, August 26, citing its own source.
“The source added that there are still 36 hours to go until the end of the operation to evacuate U.S. citizens, and the focus is now on local staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The source estimates that about 1,800 of their number have not yet made it to the airport, and they have 36 hours to do so,” the channel reported
At the same time, 150 U.S. citizens have not yet arrived at the airport. According to the source, Washington has evacuated 4,700 American citizens from Afghanistan since August 14. It also evacuated 1,300 Afghans who used to work at the American embassy.
At this point, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get to the airport as almost all routes are closed. CNN adds that “literally no one can get in without a special escort, even special visa holders.” Meanwhile, according to CNN’s source, various interest groups from U.S. government agencies are lobbying to evacuate certain people, which is hampering the entire operation, and it will end as early as Friday.
For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is little time left to evacuate people, Sky News reported. Johnson hopes the Taliban will allow people to be evacuated beyond the August 31 deadline.
“In the remaining time, which, there is quite a little time left, we will do everything in our power to get everyone out,” Johnson said.
The British prime minister stressed that if the Taliban want access to development assistance, if they want to unlock these billions of funds, if they want to have diplomatic, political relations with the outside world, then safe passage for those who want to leave is a key precondition.
At the same time, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a briefing that the threat of terrorist attacks in Kabul has become more concrete.
She said the very concrete risk of an attack by Islamic State militants at Kabul airport was increasingly hampering evacuation efforts.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised residents of Kabul not to travel to the airport on their own anymore,” Crump-Carrenbauer said, adding that this further limits the chances for evacuation.
Earlier, the media reported that 250,000 people working with the U.S. remain in Afghanistan. In all, about a million people in Afghanistan may qualify for special immigration status.