Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, on Monday told Newsmax host Chris Salcedo that four Americans were part of the first successful ground evacuation since the United States left Afghanistan.
In an interview for "The Chris Salcedo Show," Jackson, who had just learned of the safe evacuation 20 minutes before he got on the phone with Salcedo, said the four were all from Texas.
Jackson later praised congressional candidate Cory Mills from Florida and "the other patriots on his team for saving these BRAVE Americans."
He said the operation came after two weeks and "multiple threatening attempts."
"I know at least three [other Texans] were left behind," he added.
Jackson said those who wanted out were "on the phone with the State Department" but all they offered was advice to "show them your passport."
"The Taliban said 'I don’t care who you are ... you come back I’m gonna kill you,'" Jackson related.
The safe evacuation was later confirmed by a State Department official, who said the Amercans were evacuated to an unnamed bordering country, Reuters reported.
Roughly 124,000 people were evacuated last month from Kabul in a massive U.S.-led airlift of U.S. and other foreign citizens, as well as vulnerable Afghans, as the Taliban took control there.
U.S. officials have said about 100 more citizens who have said they want to leave still remain in Afghanistan.
"We have facilitated the departure of four American citizens from Afghanistan via an overland route. Our Embassy greeted the Americans as they crossed the border into the third country," the State Department official said without elaborating, Reuters reported.
With limited flights in and out of Afghanistan — including planes reportedly filled with Afghans who want out but were not immediately allowed to leave — people seeking escape face potentially hazardous overland journeys.
Countries bordering Afghanistan include Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.
The State Department on Sunday published a declaration by approximately 100 countries committed to helping Afghans reach destinations outside Afghanistan. None of Afghanistan's neighboring countries signed up, Reuters reported.
Tajikistan has pledged to accept 100,000 Afghan refugees, while Uzbekistan committed to allow transit through its territory for Americans and potentially others from Afghanistan, Reuters reported. But it’s not clear how many people both countries have actually allowed in.
Pakistan — home to more than 1.4 million Afghan refugees — has admitted some 2,000 Afghans employed by foreign missions, international institutions, and non-governmental groups on one-month transit visas, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.
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