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Officials comment on Afghan departure

US Afghanistan
Posted at 10:46 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 04:06:52-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The White House and the UN confirmed that they have been able to evacuate more than 120,000 American citizens, foreign nationals, and at-risk Afghans since the end of July.

The evacuation efforts are not over, and local political leaders continue to voice their frustrations to the Biden administration's efforts.

“The question remains to democratic members are they going to stand by the decision to leave Americans behind? Because we will not. We will not leave them behind. We need a plan to get them out, and we need to have that voiced tomorrow,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy highlighted that while US troops have been completely withdrawn from Afghanistan as of Monday, he said hundreds of Americans remain. It’s a point he’s calling on both parties in the house of representatives to consider when congress meets Tuesday morning.

Representative David Valadao also weighed in via Twitter, against the move.

“President Biden’s decision to leave American citizens and allies stranded behind enemy lines is not only reckless foreign policy, it is a disgrace to anyone who has served and those who joined forces with us to combat this very real evil,” said Valadao in his tweet.

Meanwhile, President Biden issued in a statement that he will speak on Tuesday about his decision to withdraw troops before the August 31st deadline.

“For now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned. Their view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead."

White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki also said that in the coming days there will be discussions about continuing to evacuate Americans, foreign nationals, and Afghans who wish to leave the country.

“Our plan is currently to not have an ongoing presence in Afghanistan, but as of September 1st, but we will means and mechanisms of having diplomats on the ground, being able to continue processing applicants and facilitate the passage of other people who want to leave Afghanistan,” said Psaki.

As far as the arrival of Afghan refugees in Kern County 23ABC did reach out to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, an official confirmed that as of now, their base has not been designated as a point for refugees coming from Afghanistan.

23ABC is still waiting to hear back from Edwards Air Force base to see if they will be a designated point for refugees coming from Afghanistan.