(Natural News) Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday, Aug. 25, said in a press conference that roughly 1,500 Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan as the U.S. continues to rely on the Taliban to allow safe passage to Kabul airport.
The stranded Americans include 24 students from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon, California and 16 parents. They traveled to Afghanistan over the summer, according to reports. A family of five from the same school district is back in the U.S., 10 News reported.
Psaki seems to have no idea about the stranded students
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said she has “no additional information” on the stranded students when asked. Psaki also appeared confused at the report. “I’m happy to take their information if there’s something more detailed,” she said. (Related: We are witnessing incompetence on a colossal scale throughout our society.)
Fortunately, the Cajon Valley Union School District Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Office has been in direct contact with the students and their families stranded in Afghanistan.
Cajon Valley Supt. David Miyashiro said that the families are on special visas for U.S. military service and that the Department of Defense considers them allies. According to Miyashiro, the students attend different schools in the 28-school district in eastern San Diego County.
Tamara Otero, president of the Cajon Valley School Board, said the students and parents had already booked their plane tickets but could not get to the airport. “The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Otero said. “We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”
It’s not advisable to get to the airport now. American citizens trying to get there were told on Wednesday night, Aug. 25, to immediately leave the area due to a new and sudden terror threat.
“Due to threats outside the Kabul airport, U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive instructions to do so,” the Department of State (DOS) tweeted. “Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate or North Gate now should leave immediately.”
There were reports that ISIS-K – the Islamic State affiliate in the region – could try and launch an attack on the crowd gathered outside the airport. “It is hard to overstate the complexity and danger of this effort. We are operating in a hostile environment, in a city and country now controlled by the Taliban, with a very real possibility of an ISIS-K attack,” Blinken said.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Aug. 24, warned that ISIS-K were believed to be attempting to target departing jets as thousands of Americans and Afghan allies attempt to flee the country before the U.S. military completes its withdrawal by Aug. 31.
Blinken blames Americans stranded in Afghanistan for not leaving fast enough
Blinken blamed Americans still on the ground for not leaving fast enough after first being warned earlier this year to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible, but said there would be no deadline in helping those who still want to leave.
The U.S. has been in direct contact with roughly 500 confirmed U.S. citizens, but Blinken said they are still trying to establish the status of about 1,000 more Americans in Afghanistan.
“We’re aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day,’ he said of those 1,000 people, adding they’re looking ‘to determine whether they still want to leave and to get them the most up-to-date information and instructions for them on how to do so,” Blinken said.
“Some may no longer be in the country. Some may have claimed to be Americans but turn out not to be. Some may choose to stay. We’ll continue to try and identify the status and plans of these people in the coming days.”
Biden plays it cool to hide absence of concrete plan
While Blinken is trying to pin the blame on the Americans whose lives are in danger, Biden appears to be nonchalant about the situation. (Related: Violence continues in Afghanistan as thousands of American civilians await evacuation while Biden fiddles.)
NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked the president what he would do if there were Americans trapped in Afghanistan after Aug. 31. The microphone was cut before Biden could reply, but he cracked a smile and said: “You’ll be the first person I call.”
On Wednesday, Biden posted a statement on Twitter vowing to help people still stuck in Afghanistan but did not provide further explanation.
“We’re going to do everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for Americans, our Afghan allies, partners and Afghans who might be targeted because of their association with the United States,” the president wrote.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has joined U.S. troops in helicopter rescue missions in and outside Kabul.
The military’s operations have been more limited in comparison, focusing on U.S. citizen trapped within the Afghan capital. CIA operations include air and ground missions and use U.S. military helicopters under the agency’s control – a typical arrangement in such operations.
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