U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that 4,500 Americans have been “safely” evacuated from Afghanistan in the last couple of weeks, with up to 1,500 more remaining in the country. Blinken added that, of the 1,500 who may still want to flee Afghanistan, the U.S. has been in direct contact with 500 who have been given “instructions on how to get to the airport safely.” “For the remaining roughly 1,000 contacts that we had who may be Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan, we’re aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day through multiple channels of communication,” he said.
Blinken cautioned that the figures are fluid, and “the number of Americans actively seeking to leave Afghanistan is lower, likely significantly lower.” While President Biden is sticking to his plan to pullout by Aug. 31, Blinken stressed that the U.S. will still support Americans wishing to leave after that date. “There is no deadline on our work to help any remaining American citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many Afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. That effort will continue every day past Aug. 31,” he said.