WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- All Afghan staffers in the U.S. embassy in Kabul have been evacuated from the country along with their families, reports say.
- The Taliban had sworn to show amnesty to Afghans who worked with Western-backed governments, but reports stated otherwise.
- A State Department spokesperson declared that they are committed to helping the local embassy staffers.
The U.S. has successfully completed the evacuation of all the Afghan embassy staff and their families from Kabul, ABC News reported.
Around 2,800 Afghans left Kabul airport as of Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, according to the internal report obtained by ABC News.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price had confirmed on Friday that most of the local Afghan staffers and their families had been evacuated out of Kabul.
The State Department added on Sunday that there are still about 250 Americans trying to leave Afghanistan, with some already at Hamid Karzai International Airport or on their way.
The continuous evacuations have overwhelmed some U.S. facilities. Officials in the Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., struggle to process arrivals while Fort Lee is approaching capacity.
The evacuation operations had “deeply disheartened” the local Afghan embassy staff, according to an internal State Department cable sent out last week. Taliban fighters reportedly harassed, cursed at, and spat on embassy staff members at checkpoints.
A spokesperson from the State Department told The Hill at the time, “Our local staff and their families have suffered hardship, pain, and loss because of their dedication to working with us to build a better future for all Afghans. We have a special commitment to them because of that.”
When the Taliban seized control of the capital, they swore to show amnesty to Afghans who worked with Western-backed governments. But several reports claimed that Taliban fighters had searched houses for Western allies and threatened their lives as well as their families. Still, the Taliban insists that these reports are “fake news.”
Last week, 13 U.S. service members and at least 160 Afghans were killed in suicide bombings near Kabul airport. On Saturday, embassy staffers were advised to leave the airport due to a “specific, credible threat.”
President Biden also said at the time that officials believe another attack was “highly likely” in the next few days.
Source: The Hill