Congressman Says Roughly 500 U.S. Citizens Still Trapped in Afghanistan

Afghanistan security forces around Kabul just before the Taliban took over the country.
Afghanistan security forces around Kabul just before the Taliban took over the country. August, 14, 2021, Kabul, Afghanistan. File photo: Trent Inness, Shutterstock, licensed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a Republican Congressman, there may still be as many as 500 U.S. citizens and green card holders still marooned in Afghanistan and desperate to escape after the Biden Administration completed its botched withdrawal of American military forces on August 30.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said that he is attempting to help some of his constituents that are currently trapped in Afghanistan to leave the war-torn, Taliban-controlled country; among them are an 80-year-old San Diego couple and two other families from California’s 50th congressional district.

“Unless we continue and get the rest of our American citizens, and all those otherwise eligible out, we won’t have done our job,” Issa said.

Issa disagrees with the Biden Administration’s current estimate of 100-200 Americans remaining in Afghanistan, with the GOP Congressman maintaining that at least 500 – if not more – actually are trapped there, with some politicians accusing the White House of “lowballing” their numbers.

There may be some discrepancies in the official count due to either some Americans not being able to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul before it closed, or remaining behind so as to not leave family members. In addition, some left behind are actually green card holders and permanent U.S. residents, according to veteran-led rescue groups, and due to that status they may have been overlooked in the counts.

Since the official end of the troop pullout and evacuation on August 30, it is unknown if the Biden Administration or members of the U.S. military had managed to evacuate anyone else from Afghanistan. Kabul airport, which had been closed during the Taliban’s takeover of the capital city, is now open, but closely guarded with multiple checkpoints.

According to an undersecretary of state, the remaining Americans and U.S. residents who currently remain in Afghanistan have all been informed that plans for an extraction are in the works and that they will be contacted when the plan is ready to be carried out.

However, that news may be of little comfort to those still trapped in Afghanistan, as reports of Taliban operatives regularly beating and killing people in the streets since assuming control of the beleaguered South Asian country have been constantly reported in the news as of late.

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