Blinken says only 300 Americans left to evacuate; Sullivan assures Taliban to provide safe passage after August 31
As the deadline of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan draws near, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has announced that the Taliban will allow a safe passage even after August 31.
"The Taliban have made commitments to us...and we have leverage to hold them to those commitment," Sullivan claimed.
However, he also announced that the US will not have a physical presence in Afghanistan from September, but the US will consider "more strikes, other operations" against the ISIS-K — the terrorist group which attacked the Kabul airport a week ago.
"The US is capable of suppressing the terrorism threat in Afghanistan without a permanent military presence on the ground," Sullivan said.
Sullivan's assurance has come as the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that only 300 American citizens are left to be evacuated from Afghanistan now.
"We have about 300 American citizens left, who have indicated to us that they want to leave. We are very actively working to help them get to the airport, get on a plane and get out of Afghanistan," he told ABC.
The issue of Taliban providing a safe passage to US citizens after August 31 deadline came as some American citizens have decided to stay back in Afghanistan for now. Assuring that these American citizens "are not going to be stuck in Afghanistan", Blinken assured that the US government has "a mechanism to get them out."
This announcement by the US officials have come as another loud explosion was heard across the Kabul city. After the explosion, smoke was seen rising from the residential area of the Khwaja Bugra area in PD15 — an area that is few kilometres away from the north gate of Kabul airport.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden paid respects to the 13 members of the US troops who were killed in the deadly Kabul airport attack that took place last week.