National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that if the Taliban interferes with safe passage of American citizens that the U.S. “will deliver a swift and forceful response.”
Sullivan joined Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “State Of The Union” to discuss the current state of the continuing evacuation in Afghanistan, al-Qaida, the Haqqani Network and more.
“We can’t give you a precise number but we believe it is several thousand Americans who are, we are working with now to try to get safely out of the country,” Sullivan said. “We’re working hard to organize groups of Americans, to bring them on the airbase, to get them on flights and get them out of the country.”
The White House announced Sunday that approximately 30,000 people have been evacuated since the end of July.
There have been approximately 25,100 personnel (on both military and coalitions flights) evacuated since August 14.
There have been approximately 30,000 personnel (on both military and coalition flights) evacuated since the end of July.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 22, 2021
“To the best of our knowledge, at Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports,” President Joe Biden asserted on Friday.
“We know that is not true, we know there are many instances where that has not been true. The Pentagon has acknowledged that as well. He also said al-Qaida is gone from Afghanistan but of course from the UN, from the joint chiefs, we know this is untrue,” Keilar said after noting Biden’s comments.
“Right now, our intelligence community does not believe that al-Qaida in Afghanistan, represents a threat to the United States homeland,” Sullivan responded.
“Al-Qaida could in the future represent a threat to the United States homeland,” he continued. “We have been able to deal with and suppress terrorist threats in other countries, that do have attack capabilities against America, without a permanent military presence on the ground. We intend to do the same thing in Afghanistan.”
“The threat is real, it is acute, it is persistent and it is something we’re focused on with every tool in our arsenal,” Sullivan stated, saying that they hope to move people as quickly as possible. (RELATED: Americans Advised To Avoid Traveling To Kabul Airport Amid Potential Security Threats)