US focuses on evacuating Americans from Afghanistan

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The United States is urging Americans to flee Afghanistan immediately.

“The increased tempo of the Taliban military engagement in the resulting increase in violence and instability … is of grave concern,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

In back-to-back press conferences Thursday, the State Department and Department of Defense announced that more than 3,000 troops will be sent to Afghanistan to help evacuate Americans and U.S diplomats.

Price said additional personnel will be temporarily deployed to the Kabul international airport.

“This is a temporary mission with a narrow focus,” DOD spokesperson John Kirby said.

While reducing staff, the State Department insists the U.S Embassy in Kabul remain open for now.

“We’ll continue to engage in diplomacy with the Afghan government.”

On Thursday, the Taliban seized control of an 11th provisional capital — it’s biggest city yet. It continues to set its sights on Kabul.

Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. Adela Raz says the situation on the ground is increasingly dire.

“If I talk about the fall of Kabul, then I’m talking about shattering my hopes,” Raz said. “For every Afghan, it’s difficult”

Raz says the U.S. must focus less on peace negotiations and more on striking back.

“We have to prepare for the possibility that what if there is no political solution,” Raz said.

The President Joe Biden administration contends the U.S. is working with international allies to help the Afghan people.

But Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin says it’s ultimately up to Afghanistan to defend itself.

“We learned sadly over 20 years that the superpowers of America were not enough to cope with the cultural resistance in Afghanistan,” Durbin said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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