White House Says 7,800 Evacuated From Kabul In 24 Hours – But ISIS Threat To Airport Is ‘Real’ And ‘Acute’

According to the White House, 7,800 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan within the last 24 hours. However, they warned that there are serious threats made by the Islamic State to Hamid Karzai airport, which is the landing ground for flights out.

WASHINGTON DC, USA - August 17th: Jake Sullivan (US President Joe Bidens national safety advisor)... [+] hosts a press conference about developments in Afghanistan in the James Brady Press Room of the White House, Washington, DC on August 17, 2021. (Photo by Yasin Otturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images). Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Key Facts

Jake Sullivan was President Joe Biden's national security advisor. He stated in a CNN interview, that 3,900 people had been evacuated by military personnel and 3,900 by commercial and foreign aircraft. A White House official confirmed these figures, saying that there had been 25,100 evacuations in the last 24 hours and that there were 30,000 since July. Sullivan stated that ISIS-K has made threats against the airport. This is being used to evacuate Americans as well as Afghans who have aided the U.S. Officials confirmed the figures. CNN quoted an anonymous defense official as saying there was a strong possibility for an attack. Sullivan stated that the administration is focusing on the ISIS threat using every tool in its arsenal. He also said that ground commanders have a variety of capabilities to defend Karzai airport and that U.S intelligence is working to isolate these threats.

Important Background

Since the Taliban took over Kabul earlier this month with astonishing speed, chaos has engulfed the Karzai airport. This has left Americans and Afghans trying to obtain U.S. visas in panic mode as they try to flee the country. The airport has been clogged with people and has been gatekept at multiple Taliban checkpoints. According to the Pentagon, some travelers have been beaten by Taliban soldiers. According to the Associated Press, at least seven civilians were killed by the crowd outside the airport on Sunday.

Big Number

100. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, that's how many attacks ISIS-K has committed in Afghanistan against civilians. Biden stated last week that the U.S. was keeping an eye on ISIS-related prisoners released from prisons. ISIS-K and the Taliban are fierce enemies.


This number represents an important increase in evacuations compared to previous days. According to the White House, 3,800 Afghans were evacuated in 24 hours after the White House reported 5,700 evacuations on Friday.

Important Quote

We can't give you a number but we believe it to be several thousand Americans that we are working with right now to get out of Afghanistan, Sullivan stated in the interview. He attributed the uncertainty to some Americans not registering or deregistering with U.S. embassy.


Sunday's activation by the Defense Department of 18 commercial aircraft belonging to six airlines was done to transport Americans, Afghans and others out of temporary airstrips. This was to allow for more military aircraft to fly to Kabul.