(Washington) The United States is seeking to repatriate about 40 Americans still present in Afghanistan, the head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said Thursday during a parliamentary hearing where he was put on the grill on the withdrawal chaotic American of this country in August 2021.
“There are approximately 175 self-described Americans that we are in contact with and 44 of them are ready to go and we are working on it,” the secretary of state said, noting that the United States had helped approximately 975 Americans leave Afghanistan since August 31, 2021.
He also mentioned “several Americans held by the Taliban whom the United States is seeking to release,” without providing details “at the request of their families.”
Mr. Blinken was speaking before the Republican-dominated House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Several elected officials, including the Republican chairman of the commission, Michael McCaul, denounced the “fiasco” of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and demanded that the State Department provide confidential documents including a diplomatic cable.
Failing that, the commission threatened to issue a subpoena to provide the documents by Monday evening.
“I will work tirelessly on this until I get answers and we will get them, even if it means going all the way up the chain of command,” said McCaul, who had invited the mother of one of the Marines killed in the August 26, 2021 attack near Kabul airport. Thirteen American soldiers and 170 Afghans were killed there.
At the center of the controversy is a confidential diplomatic cable signed by diplomats challenging President Joe Biden’s decision to order the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The State Department refuses to release this cable in the name of protecting confidential circuits within the department.
By taking control of the House of Representatives, the Republican opposition to President Biden has promised to launch investigations into this withdrawal from Afghanistan or even into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On August 30, 2021, one minute before midnight, the last US soldier flew out of Kabul airport 24 hours ahead of the deadline set by the US President for the withdrawal of troops from the country.
The Taliban had already regained power.
The troop withdrawal ended the longest US military intervention, which began in response to the September 11, 2001 attack.
It claimed the lives of more than 2,400 American soldiers, according to the US military.