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Washington [US], August 19 (ANI): The US has so far evacuated "approximately 5,000 people" from Afghanistan and its military intends to increase the number of evacuees.
According to CNN, this was informed by US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley.
He did not break down the categories of evacuees.
"Right now, we are averaging about 20 sorties of C-17s every 24 hours," Milley said, referring to US military planes.
On Sunday, the Taliban declared victory after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad and his government collapsed.
Like many other countries, the US started evacuating its nationals and some Afghans with links to foreign governments and organisations.
The US government has said that thousands of American citizens, locals embassy staff and their families, as well as other "vulnerable Afghan nationals" will be airlifted in the coming days.
Milley outlined the dangerous situation on the ground in Afghanistan, saying US troops are "at-risk" and that they need to be the nation's main focus. He, however, said that the security situation at the airport is currently stable, but there are threats and they are being monitored.
"Today the situation is still very dangerous, very dynamic, and very fluid. And all of us can be proud for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines executing this mission. They are currently in harm's way. That needs to be our focus," Milley said at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
"There will be many postmortems on this topic, but right now is not that time. Right now there are troops at risk. And we are the United States military and we fully intend to successfully evacuate all American citizens who want to get out of Afghanistan. All American citizens who want to get out of Afghanistan. They are our priority number one," he continued.
"In addition, we intend to evacuate those who have been supporting us for years and we won't leave them behind. And we will get out as many as possible. Our troops in Kabul are taking the high risks to accomplish that mission. Every minute these troops are on the ground making difficult decisions with incredible skill, incredible bravery, and incredible valor," he added. (ANI)