Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said about 1,500 Americans remain in Afghanistan and are waiting to be evacuated.
The Biden administration has been engaged in a furious effort to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies before Aug. 31, the deadline set for a complete exit from the country.
Blinken said the U.S. has evacuated 82,300 people, including 4,500 people with U.S. passports, since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban took Kabul and completed its takeover of Afghanistan.
He cautioned that the tally of Americans is highly fluid and changes almost hour to hour.
U.S. diplomats are in direct contact with 500 of the 1,500 Americans, and has provided instructions to those people on how to get to the airport safely, Blinken said.
“For the remaining roughly 1,000 contacts that we had, who may be Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan, we’re aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day through multiple channels of communication, phone, email, text messaging to determine whether they still want to leave, and to get the most up to date information and instructions to them for how to do so,” he said.
Blinken’s remarks provided the most concrete number of Americans remaining in Afghanistan that the administration has provided. Officials have explained it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how many Americans remain in the country since some did not notify the U.S. Embassy when they arrived or when they departed prior to the withdrawal effort.