US helped at least 36 citizens leave Afghanistan since August 31: State Dept

WASHINGTON: The United States has facilitated the departure of at least 36 US citizens and at least 24 lawful permanent residents from Afghanistan since August 31 via charter flights and overland routes, the State Department said .

After two decades in Afghanistan, the United States pulled out its troops at the end of August in a chaotic withdrawal that left at least around 100 American citizens and thousands of at-risk Afghans behind.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that one US citizen and two lawful permanent residents departed Afghanistan on Tuesday utilizing an overland route and “a couple” of charter flights left Kabul International Airport last week with US citizens on board.

But he said he is not aware that any international flights, chartered or otherwise, have left Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, where planes chartered to carry people out of Afghanistan have been stuck, sparking calls for the State Department to do more to facilitate their departure.

“The State Department, as we have said, has pulled every lever available to us,” Price said.

“These flights, these individuals – there is no reason they should not be able to depart, and that’s what we’re continuing to focus on,” he said.