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CIA has launched clandestine ops to rescue Americans in Afghanistan: report

The CIA has reportedly launched clandestine operations to rescue Americans who remain in Afghanistan, as the U.S. works to evacuate all personnel from the country before President Biden’s self-imposed deadline of Aug. 31.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the CIA in recent days has begun covert operations to get Americans in and outside of Kabul out of the country, according to U.S. and other officials.

The operations are reportedly utilizing American military helicopters and ground troops, but they are still under the CIA’s jurisdiction, which is common for such missions.

The operations come as the U.S. is working to pull all American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan as the Taliban’s grip on the country tightens.

Biden set Aug. 31 as the deadline for evacuating all individuals from the country.

Between early Tuesday and early Wednesday, the U.S. pulled roughly 19,000 people from Kabul, according to a White House official, bringing the total number of people evacuated from the country since Aug. 14 to 82,300.

CIA Director William Burns reportedly met with the Taliban’s leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, on Monday to engage in discussions that likely involved the Aug. 31 deadline, The Washington Post reported, citing U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Biden earlier this week had been considering extending the U.S.’s presence in Afghanistan past August, but ultimately decided against that.

When asked by The Hill about operations overseas, a CIA spokesperson declined to comment.

Updated 5:03 p.m.

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