WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th July, 2021) The first group of nearly 250 Afghans who worked for the US military and diplomatic missions in Afghanistan is now en route to the United States, Senior Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Russ Travers said at a briefing.
"I am immensely proud to announce our first group of Afghan special immigrants relocated under the operation Allies which is now on their way to America," Travers said, adding that the route and time of the transit would not be disclosed to the public.
When asked about the exact number of people on the flight, Jacobson replied that there will be "just over 200" and "less than 250 people," without going into details.
Travers recalled that the US has a long-standing tradition of welcoming refugees and others to the US.
"We, along with our civil society partners and tens of thousands of volunteers across our nation look forward to welcoming these new friends and partners to their new community to the United States," Travers said.
All the Afghan refugees have completed their "rigorous security background checks" as well as medical exams and now they are joining the some 70,000 Afghan residents who have received visas since 2008.
"Their arrival is a combination of the enormous effort across the US government," Travers said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Tracey Jacobson from State Department Afghanistan Task Force said the group of Afghan residents coming to the US have also undergone COVID-19 checks and officials have prepared vaccines for them if they need them.
"We are going to continue to relocate eligible SIV Special Immigrant Visas applicants and their families for the gratitude of their service," she added.
Thousands of Afghans are trying to flee their country following the nearly full US troops withdrawal and the offensive of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to recapture the country. Earlier in July, US President Joe Biden announced the relocation flights from Afghanistan for interpreters and other allies will begin this month.