Monday, September 26, 2022

US military bases to house thousands of Afghan refugees in coming days

Date:

The United States is preparing to accommodate thousands of Afghan refugees at US military installations in the coming days, while evacuating Americans from the country now controlled by the Taliban militant group.

“We want the potential to reach several thousand immediately, and be prepared for a capacity of thousands,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said. Fox News on Sunday. “[Forts] Bliss and McCoy have potential right now—and what’s beneficial is that with a little work, they can increase their potential in very short order. “

Fort Bliss is a military base in El Paso, Texas, and Fort McCoy is in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Kirby also said that US citizens would not give priority to Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants.

“Once we get more airlifts out of Kabul, we are going to put as many people in those planes as we can. Not only US citizens, but maybe some Afghan SIV applicants will also be a mix,” Kirby said. “It’s not just going to be American first, then SIV applicants. We’re going to focus on getting as many people out as possible.”

Documents obtained by Fox News show that the Defense Department plans to relocate 30,000 Afghan SIV applicants to the United States in the near future. The State Department will decide who to send next, while the Defense Department will get the facilities.

Neither department immediately responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

In joint statement Released on Sunday, the two departments said they would work together to evacuate Americans and Afghan refugees to the United States in the coming days.

“Tomorrow and in the days ahead, we will move thousands of American citizens living in Afghanistan, as well as locally employed employees of the US mission in Kabul, and their families and other particularly vulnerable Afghan citizens out of the country.” reads the statement.

“And we will expedite the evacuation of thousands of Afghans eligible for US special immigrant visas, about 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the United States in the past two weeks. For all categories, Afghans who clear security checks will continue to be transferred directly to the United States. And we will find additional locations for those who are yet to be screened. “

Yug Times Photos
Afghans sit as they wait to leave Kabul Airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, following the surprisingly swift end of Afghanistan’s 20-year war (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The statement also said that around 6,000 troops would be deployed to facilitate air traffic control and evacuation over the next 48 hours.

World leaders expressed shock and dismay after the Taliban took such a swift capture of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Republicans and some Democrats have strongly criticized President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan so quickly.

Biden is not expected to deliver a speech on Afghanistan until Monday afternoon when he arrives in Washington from Camp David.

Lee Hai

Lee High is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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