The Biden administration is ramping up its efforts to evacuate Afghans prone to reprisals from the Taliban amid a rise in violence, the State Department announced — because the war-torn nation’s chief blames the “sudden” US withdrawal for the escalation of combating.
The first group of about 2,500 Afghans and their households who labored as translators or different personnel with the army throughout the 20-year struggle started to be moved out of Afghanistan final week.
But the State Department stated Monday that it had broadened its refugee standing to incorporate Afghans who work or labored with US-based support and developmental teams and different reduction businesses getting US support, and former workers of US-based media organizations.
“The US objective remains a peaceful, secure Afghanistan. However, in light of increased levels of Taliban violence, the U.S. government is working to provide certain Afghans, including those who worked with the United States, the opportunity for refugee resettlement to the United States,” the assertion stated, including that “many thousands” of Afghans and their fast households will likely be eligible to be settled within the US.
The “Priority 2″ designation created through the US Refugee Admissions Program is aimed at Afghans “who may be at risk due to their US affiliation but who are not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa” as a result of they didn’t work for the US authorities or didn’t maintain the roles lengthy sufficient.
To qualify, Afghans should be referred to the program by a US authorities company, or by probably the most senior civilian US citizen of a US-based media outlet or nongovernmental group.
Amid the backdrop of the evacuations, the Taliban continues to press their army operations, and on Monday their fighters moved deeper into the southern Afghan provincial capital of Lashkargah.
Heavy combating was reported close to the National Directorate of Security, the jail and police headquarters.
An Afghan army commander stated authorities forces managed to repel the Taliban.
“In the afternoon the level of intensity of the fighting decreased as the Taliban suffered heavy casualties following the air and ground operations,” Sayed Sami Sadat, the commander of the Maiwand military corps, told Reuters.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani blamed the US’ “sudden” determination to take away its troops for the spike in violence.
“We have had an unexpected situation in the last three months,” he instructed the Afghan parliament.
Around 750 Afghans have utilized and accomplished the Special Immigrant Visa course of required to be delivered to the US, together with their fast households, roughly amounting to 2,500 folks.
The group will keep in Virginia till they full the appliance processing earlier than being relocated all through the US.
A second group of candidates, roughly 4,000 folks and their members of the family, will likely be transferred abroad, probably to US army bases.
Roughly 20,000 Afghans have utilized for the visas, in response to the State Department, although it’s unclear what number of will likely be evacuated.
With Post wires