19:30 GMT26 July 2021
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    While the date of the complete withdrawal of American troops is nearing, Afghan citizens who helped the US military — like interpreters and other local employees, are fearing for their lives as they are most likely target number one for the Taliban. Biden claimed the US has already identified facilities — but fell short of providing any details.

    The US Department of Defense is mulling locations where it could send Afghan interpreters and other allies, as Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday "several" US military installations overseas are being considered.

    "Our task in this interagency process is to look at our installations overseas and to recommend to [the State Department] and to [the Department of Homeland Security] what installations we think might fill the need," Kirby said.

    This comes as President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States has chosen facilities outside of Afghanistan where Afghan interpreters and other allies of American operations in the country can stay while they await Special Immigrants Visas (SIV) and will begin relocation flights this month. Biden, however, did not elaborate on what the actual evacuation plan will look like.
    President Joe Biden speaks about the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Washington.
    © AP Photo / Evan Vucci
    President Joe Biden speaks about the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Washington.

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not disclose an exact number of how many Afghan interpreters would be relocated to another country or granted an opportunity to resettle in the United States, adding that the administration does not announce specific installations for "security reasons."

    Earlier, Reuters reported that the US is negotiating with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan — border countries which themselves are endangered by the Taliban's expansion — to accept Afghan refugees for an unspecified period of time.

    'They Are Going to Slaughter Us Anyway': Taliban Threatens to Find and Kill US Allies in Afghanistan

    As the US is finalizing its pullout from the country, Afghanistan has seen an uptick in violence, with dozens of districts being captured by the Taliban in the past weeks.

    Amid the Taliban advance, Afghan citizens who had helped the US military in the country (as well as their families) have been put in danger, as the Islamist group has called on them to "show remorse for their past actions", which, according to the Taliban, amount to treason against Islam and the country.

    One such employee, Sherin Agha Jafari, whose father was reportedly killed by the Taliban, told CBC News that he was forced to flee when "people with long beards" knocked on his home door one night.

    "We just saw people climbing the walls. People with long beards, guns in their hands. They came inside. They kept questioning. 'We know who you are,'" Jafari said. 

    Armed men attend a gathering to announce their support for Afghan security forces and that they are ready to fight against the Taliban, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 23, 2021
    © REUTERS / Stringer
    Armed men attend a gathering to announce their support for Afghan security forces and that they are ready to fight against the Taliban, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 23, 2021

    He stated there is every chance he and other interpreters will be murdered by the group: "We are right now at the final stage. They are going to slaughter us anyway."

    Jafari's words were echoed by Matt Zeller, the co-founder of No One Left Behind, who said Thursday that "[the Taliban fighters] are hunting these people down one by one, systematically, and it's for a purpose. They're trying to convince future partners that American friendship is a death sentence."

    No One Left Behind is a foundation that claims to ensure that the US "keeps its promise to care for those who jeopardize their safety" for the sake of America.

    Voices are mounting calling for the US government to evacuate thousands of Afghans who facilitated US operations in the country, otherwise, they and their families will face imminent death. At the same time, many of them have expressed concerns that the United States is going to simply abandon its allies to the mercy of the Taliban.

    Meanwhile, Zalmay Niazy, an Afghan citizen who served as an interpreter for the US military from 2007 to 2014 and who is currently living in the US state of Iowa, told media this week that he is facing deportation. According to Niazy, DHS sent him a letter telling the man they would no longer speak to him because he "engaged in terrorist activity." The reason behind that is that when Niazy was 9 years old, he gave the Taliban a piece of bread after they threatened to kill him and his family.

    ​Earlier, US lawmakers, including Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul, demanded the Biden administration provide a detailed evacuation plan for Afghan citizens who served as interpreters, drivers, security guards and embassy workers for the US troops, as well as their families.

    Almost two weeks have passed since that call — and yet, no details have been provided.

    Polticians and analysts are sounding alarms about the unfolding situation in Afghanistan: media reported in late June that the US intelligence community assesses that the Afghan government could fall to the Taliban six months after the American troops leave the country. A more optimistic forecast was reportedly revised after the Islamist group seized large parts in the north of the country.
    Tags:
    death threats, Pentagon, Joe Biden, Afghanistan, US, Taliban
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