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Biden administration to begin evacuating Afghans who aided US military in late July

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(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration will begin evacuation flights in late July for Afghans who have aided the U.S. military, according to a senior administration official.

President Joe Biden earlier this month said all U.S. combat forces will be out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31 and defended his decision to leave the country in the face of Taliban gains in the area.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan, Scott Miller, returned from Afghanistan to Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday after he handed over his command at a ceremony in Kabul on Monday.

The evacuation effort, dubbed Operation Allies Refuge, will help streamline the flights and relocation process for Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants, according to the senior administration official. While the administration wouldn’t specify when the flights will depart due to security concerns, an official confirms they will meet Biden’s late-July commitment.

“Starting this month… we’re going to begin relocation flights for Afghanistan SIV applicants and their families who choose to leave,” Biden said in remarks July 8.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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