As the Afghanistan Evacuation Deadline Looms, Who Will be Left Behind?
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With the deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan less than 24 hours away, the State Department says 250 U.S. citizens are still in the country.
A U.S. military drone strike Sunday targeted a suspected car bomber on his way to Kabul airport with what officials said was a "substantial amount of explosive material."
Overnight, as many as five rockets were fired at the airport with at least some of them intercepted by an antimissile system.
But the rockets didn’t stop the steady stream of U.S. military cargo jets taking off and landing at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Sam Brownback, former religious freedom ambassador under the Trump administration, said the White House must do more to help non-Muslims escape before they're killed.
Brownback told CBN News' Faith Nation, "If you're a religious minority in Afghanistan, we need to be granting them visa rights to come to the U.S. because they're sitting ducks. They're going to get killed."
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Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are urging President Biden to extend the deadline to allow evacuations for U.S. troops and their allies.
But the administration isn't budging.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there likely will be no diplomatic presence in the country after Aug. 31 but insists there's a plan to get Americans out after that date.
"If the Taliban is serious about the commitments that it's repeatedly made in public, including nationally, across the country as well as in private, commitments that the international community intends to hold the Taliban to, then we'll find ways to do it," Blinken told ABC News.
But Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) says it shows the administration still lacks a plan.
He called Blinken's comments to ABC, "Disgusting and the American people have a right to be livid about it. There is clearly no plan. There has been no plan. Their plan has basically been happy talk."
And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBS's Face the Nation the president should be impeached.
"I believe it's a dereliction of duty to leave hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines, turn them into hostages, to abandon thousands of Afghans who fought admirably along our side, to create conditions for another 9/11 that are now through the roof," Graham said. "Yeah, he's been derelict in his duties as commander-in-chief."
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch as a carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, Calif., during a casualty return Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Nikoui died in an attack at Afghanistan's Kabul airport, along with 12 other U.S. service members. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Meanwhile, there was a solemn scene in Delaware on Sunday as the bodies of the 13 service members killed in a bomb attack last week returned home.
Biden is being blasted on social media for appearing to look at his watch during the ceremony.
The administration has been touting the fact the U.S. and its allies have evacuated 100,000 Americans and Afghans on very short notice. But as the evacuation deadline looms, many Afghans desperate to escape will have no way out.
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