UPDATED 12:51 PM PT – Saturday, July 31, 2021
The first group of evacuated Afghans who worked with U.S. forces in Afghanistan officially touched down in Virginia. A plane carrying 221 Afghans landed at the Dulles International Airport on Friday, marking the first group of Afghans to be evacuated since the U.S. troop pullout.
The White House said more than 2,500 Afghans will be evacuated to the U.S. in the coming weeks over concerns their work with the U.S. military could lead to retaliation from the Taliban.
“This White House initiative aims to ensure the safe relocation of Afghans who have worked for the United States over the course of the past two decades,” said Ross Wilson, U.S. Charge d’Affaires for Afghanistan.
We welcome the first group of Afghan special immigrant applicants to their new home in the United States. We honor them for their service in keeping Americans safe and their work to build a brighter Afghanistan. #OperationAlliesRefuge pic.twitter.com/dMN6ocA3x6
— Department of State (@StateDept) July 31, 2021
The group was reportedly taken to a nearby Army base for medical screenings. They are expected to spend at least a week there.