As the US’ troop withdrawal proceeds, the Pentagon plans to move thousands of Afghan interpreters and translators, as well as their families, to military facilities in the United States and Qatar.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), up to 2,500 Afghans, including 700 interpreters and family members, will be relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia, while their US visas are processed.
Qatar will also accommodate Afghans who served for the US and their families at Al-Udeid Airbase, the largest American base in the Middle East, with the option of adding more housing. The number of translators is estimated to be between 40,000 and 50,000.
“These are brave Afghans and their families, as we have said, who have served the United States and who have completed thorough SIV security vetting processes,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Joe Biden stated that the first set of interpreters will be evacuated from the country by the end of July, without elaborating on the strategy.
Since Biden’s declaration that US forces will be entirely withdrawn by September 11 this year, there have been concerns about the status of interpreters. The Taliban has been targeting the interpreters and other Afghans in the nation since.