White House says ‘small number’ of Americans remain in Afghanistan

The White House said Monday that roughly 6,000 Americans have been evacuated from or otherwise left Afghanistan and that a “small number” of U.S. citizens who want to leave remain in the country.

“Of those who self-identified as Americans wanting to leave the country since Aug. 14, we have thus far received confirmation that about 6,000 have been evacuated or otherwise departed. This number will likely continue to grow as our outreach and arrivals continue,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing.

“We believe there are still a small number” of Americans remaining in Afghanistan, Psaki said, adding that the Biden administration is working to determine precisely how many by going through passenger manifests and reaching out to U.S. citizens by phone and text.

Psaki attributed the difficulty of determining the exact number of Americans remaining who want to leave in part to the fact that some longtime residents are still trying to determine if they want to leave Afghanistan.

She said the White House would provide a precise number of Americans who want to leave Afghanistan that remain “as soon as possible.” 

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that roughly 300 Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan remained in the country.

More than 120,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul on U.S. military and coalition flights since the end of July, with large numbers being evacuated daily over the course of last week. Evacuation numbers have slowed as the Tuesday withdrawal deadline draws nearer. About 1,200 people were evacuated from early Sunday into early Monday, according to numbers provided by the White House. 

Thousands of at-risk Afghans who assisted the U.S. in the 20-year war in Afghanistan have been among those evacuated from the country. 

Biden administration officials have declined to say precisely when the remaining U.S. troops will depart Afghanistan.

Officials insist that they will continue to try to assist those who want to leave Afghanistan after the withdrawal deadline has passed.

Tags Afghanistan Antony Blinken Jen Psaki

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