Report: US government has no plan in place to evacuate Americans outside of Kabul

Questions are being raised about the safety of Americans unable to travel through Taliban checkpoints to reach the Kabul airport.

Dan Verbin ,

Mountains of Afghanistan
Mountains of Afghanistan
iStock

According to a report released on Tuesday, the US has no plan to evacuate Americans who are located outside of the Kabul area.

The Washington Post quoted officials from the State, Defense and other departments telling Senate staffers at a Tuesday morning meeting that they have no way of rescuing Americans outside of Kabul who would have to pass through a series of Taliban checkpoints.

The report, quoting two Senate aides, underscored that with the main airport located in Kabul, the American government has not developed a plan for repatriating Americans outside of Kabul who would need to use a different airport if they could not make it to the Afghan capital.

On Sunday, Congressional staffers from the office of Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) set up a hotline for Americans trapped in Afghanistan to call for help, reported Military Times.

In less than a day, the hotline received several hundred calls from individuals who had not been able to receive any guidelines or communication from State Department or other officials about how to evacuate.

“The situation is dire, but we’ll do everything in our power to help keep you informed and to help get you out,” said Cotton, a veteran who served in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009, in a statement.

It is estimated that up to 15,000 Americans may still be in Afghanistan. The exact number of Americans outside of Kabul has not been made clear yet, reported the Washington Post.

A former State Department contractor said in an interview with Fox News that the Taliban have now set up checkpoints throughout Kabul and at the city’s airport, and there have been reports of people heading to the airport being beaten.

On Monday, a State Department spokesperson said that the Kabul airport was "safe and secure" and that the Taliban had promised safe passage of American civilians as well as those from other countries.



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