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While much of the country, along with the Biden administration, appears to have moved on from Afghanistan, there are still Americans trapped there along with an untold number of Afghan citizens who are legal permanent residents of the United States.
That said, as of now, there are 39 fewer of them trapped.
A volunteer organization, Project Dynamo — which gets funding from Save Our Allies, a group affiliated with The Independence Fund — has evacuated more than three dozen Americans and legal permanent residents, according to reports, having left the Taliban-controlled southwest Asian country on Friday while landing at New York City’s JFK Airport on Saturday.
The group consists of former U.S. military members and current members of various reserve components.
The evacuees included more than a dozen kids along with an 11-month-old American citizen, Fox News reported.
Joe Biden left our Americans & allies behind –
Thirty-nine Americans & US residents,11 children evacuated frm Afghanistan Sat –
Two members of Project Dynamo rptdly flew into Afghan from undisclosed country this wk-brought evacuees to safehouse near Kabul with grp of volunteers- pic.twitter.com/1y9D2AYONw
— Blanche Victoria (@tammytabby) December 19, 2021
“This is the first known major airlift rescue with American boots on the ground since the U.S. government abandoned the country of Afghanistan in August,” said Project Dynamo spokesman James Judge in a statement.
The stranded group was flown out of the international airport in Kabul on a pair of flights paid for by Berry Aviation after they were first tested for COVID-19 and then vaccinated.
After President Biden initially claimed that no Americans or U.S. allies would be left behind in Afghanistan, the State Department revealed in October that there were hundreds more Americans left in the country than previously estimated or announced. Fox News noted that the administration admitted as much again early last week.
Earlier this fall, according to a source familiar with a State Department briefing given to members of Congress, the administration was in touch then with around 363 Americans and another 176 legal permanent residents. That was much higher than the 100 or so the administration publicly estimated.
In late August, just a few days before the Aug. 31 pullout deadline, administration officials said the U.S. had the capacity to evacuate the remaining Americans and Afghan allies.
“[W]e have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Aug. 29.
“We moved out more than that number just yesterday. So from our point of view, there is an opportunity right now for American citizens to come, to be admitted to the airport and to be evacuated safely and effectively,” he added.
That turned out to be false and, as the weekend operation indicates, there are still an untold number of Americans and U.S. allies remaining in the Taliban-controlled country.
“I’m excited, but despite the excitement, I am worrying for my family, because they are still left behind,” Mujtaba Ebadi, one of the evacuees and a financial advisor who worked for the U.S. Army, told the New York Post. He added that he left behind a younger brother and his parents.
“They were in serious danger, because I was supporting the U.S. Army back in home,” he added.
Project Dynamo says it has helped some 2,000 Americans and legal permanent residents escape Afghanistan since the August pullout — far more than the few hundred the administration claims were left behind.
“We’re the only group that has figured out a way to do Kabul to the U.S.,” Brian Stern, a combat vet and one of the leaders of Project Dynamo, told The Post.
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