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On Saturday, two days after the deadly terror attack at Kabul airport which killed 14 U.S. service members, the Pentagon announced that it has started its final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“We have begun retrograding,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told the media.
As has become typical for this administration, no details were provided about how many troops are still in the country, or what the final evacuation will look like.
Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, deputy director of the Joint Staff for regional operations, says that the airport will remain under U.S. control until “the end.”
“We’re going to continue run the airport up until the end,” Taylor said. “Those details, as they continue to be worked out, will come forward. But right now, we will continue to run that airfield to make sure that we can execute our operations.”
According to Taylor, 6,800 people were evacuated from Kabul from Friday morning to Saturday morning. Of those, only about 300 were American citizens, according to the State Department.
Earlier this week, a U.S. official said that there were likely 8,000 American citizens left in Afghanistan, and it was “doubtful we are going to bring” them home before the August 31 deadline.
The Biden administration has been mum about what they plan to do about Americans stranded in the country after the deadline, but have suggested that there are plenty who “don’t want to leave.”