7,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan so far: Pentagon
A total of 7,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the start of evacuation operations on August 14
A total of 7,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the start of evacuation operations on August 14 and over 5,200 US troops are in Kabul, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Cumulatively, the number of people moved out of Afghanistan is somewhere near 12,000.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday. Their sudden victory, which comes as the US withdraws from the country following a 20-year-war, has sparked chaos at Kabul's airport, from where the US and allied nations are trying to safely evacuate thousands of citizens and allies.
Major General Taylor, who has been given the responsibility to airlift US citizens from Afghanistan amid the Taliban crisis, said in the past 24 hours, 13 C-17s arrived with additional troops and equipment, and 12 C-17 military planes departed.
These flights, containing more than 2,000 passengers, left Kabul and arrived at designated safe havens and staging areas in the CENTCOM area of operation, he said.
"Since the start of evacuation operations on August 14, we have airlifted approximately 7,000 total evacuees. This increase is reflective of both a ramp-up of aircraft and airlift capability, faster processing of evacuees and greater information and fidelity in reporting," Taylor told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
The US, he said, is ready to increase throughput and has scheduled aircraft departures accordingly.
At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that there are 6,000 people at the airport "right now" who've been fully processed by a consular team and will soon board planes.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke with the G7 foreign ministers and the high representative of the European Union to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, he said.
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