US Embassy in Kabul suspends operations, vows to continue assisting those still in country – Fox News

Blinken announces new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan

The U.S. Embassy announced on its website that it suspended operations on Tuesday but will continue to assist U.S. citizens and families still in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar. 

“The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” the statement read. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken took to Twitter to announce a “new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan.” 

“As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul and transferred our operations to Doha, Qatar. For the time being, we will use this post in Doha to manage our diplomacy with Afghanistan,” he posted. 

Taliban leaders took over control of the Kabul airport Tuesday and marked the departure of the last U.S. plane from the country by taking a symbolic walk across the airport’s sole runway, according to a report. 

“The world should have learned its lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said in a livestream video, according to the Associated Press.

Taliban take control of Kabul airport, celebrate ‘enjoyable moment of victory’

Taliban leaders took over control of the Kabul airport Tuesday and marked the departure of the last U.S. plane from the country by taking a symbolic walk across the airport’s sole runway, according to a report. 

“The world should have learned its lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said in a livestream video, according to the Associated Press.

He spoke to reporters at the Hamid Karzai International Airport and said Americans “could not achieve their goal through military operations,” according to Al Jazeera.

Celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout Kabul before dawn, Reuters reported. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times posted video of Taliban fighters inspecting a hanger after the U.S. departure. 

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Biden sees Dem support dwindle over Afghanistan withdrawal

President Biden has faced mounting criticism from lawmakers within his own party in recent days as the last U.S. forces depart Afghanistan following a chaotic evacuation mission.

Much of the Democratic criticism regarding Biden’s handling of the withdrawal has focused on his decision to maintain an Aug. 31 deadline for evacuations despite the administration’s acknowledgments that some Americans would be left behind.

The public reproaches have added to the political pressure on Biden, who has faced scathing attacks from Republicans during the crisis.

Some of the most pointed criticism came from Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa. Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the evacuation “has been egregiously mishandled” after suicide bombings that killed 13 U.S. service members.

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Blinken pledges support to Americans left in Afghanistan after withdrawal

Secretary of State Tony Blinken pledged ongoing support to what he described as the “small number of Americans” still in Afghanistan after the last U.S. troops departed the country on Monday.

Blinken said the State Department does not have an exact figure on the number of Americans still in the country, though it is believed to be “under 200 and likely closer to 100.” He added that efforts to determine an exact number were complicated by “longtime residents of Afghanistan who have American passports and are trying to determine whether or not they want to leave.”

“Our commitment to them, and to all Americans in Afghanistan and everywhere in the world, continues. The protection and welfare of Americans abroad remains the State Department’s most vital and enduring mission,” Blinken said. “If an American in Afghanistan tells us that they want to stay for now and then in a week or a month or a year they reach out and say, ‘I’ve changed my mind,’ we will help them leave.”

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Biden breaks promise to ‘stay’ in Afghanistan until every American evacuated

President Biden appears to have broken his promise to stay in Afghanistan until every American is evacuated. 

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Monday evening that the last of the U.S. troops stationed at the Kabul airport had left, completing the military’s drawdown in the country, even though hundreds of Americans likely remain.

McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said some American citizens who wanted to leave Afghanistan remained in the country. 

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US Embassy in Kabul suspends operations, vows to continue assisting those still in country – Fox News

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