PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pentagon has announced that there is no longer a military presence in Afghanistan, ending the longest war in American history, but there are some Americans still trying to get out of the country.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says around 100 Americans were left behind because they were unable to get to the airport. He says there are plans being developed to help get those people back to the United States.
Secretary Blinken says the United States is partnering with international allies to hold the Taliban to their promise that they will allow Americans and others to safely leave the country in the coming days.
Blinken says discussions are underway about strategies to reopen the Kabul airport as quickly as possible to fly those people out.
The United States will work with Turkey and Qatar to help get the airport up and running again. This would allow a small number of daily charter flights for anyone who wants to leave.
“We believe there are still a small number of Americans, under 200, likely closer to 100, who remained in Afghanistan and want to leave,” Secretary Blinken said.
The Department of State is working to determine exactly how many people remained by going through manifests, making calls, and sending texts.
“Many are dual citizen Americans with deep roots and extended families in Afghanistan, those who resided there for many years. “For many, it’s a painful choice.” Our commitment to them and to all Americans in Afghanistan and everywhere in the world continues,” Secretary Blinken said.
Blinken says they don’t plan on this being easy or rapid, and says it will take time to work through a new set of challenges. He says they’ll continue their efforts to get these individuals back to the U.S. if they want to leave.
In the meantime, the United States will move its embassy to Qatar.
As of Monday, more than 122,000 people have been airlifted from Kabul’s airport since July, according to the Pentagon.
The United States spent $2 trillion dollars on the war, and nearly 2,000 U.S. troops were killed in action.