Afghan refugees expected to arrive at Fort Bliss on Saturday

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In this photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, civilians prepare to board a plane during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Refugees from Afghanistan are expected to be transitioned to Fort Bliss on Saturday, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

During a Pentagon news briefing streamed on the DOD’s Facebook page, Army Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor stated the military began deploying thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan on Aug. 14, exactly one week ago.

Taylor said 5,800 troops still remain in Afghanistan to continue providing help for refugees and securing the Kabul airport to allow for evacuation operations.

“There are now Afghans, in just one week since the beginning of this week, have left Afghanistan, and will be transitioned to Fort Bliss today (Saturday) for further processing,” Taylor said.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, tweeted Saturday morning the refugees will not be housed in El Paso but elsewhere on the Fort Bliss installation.

The El Paso congresswoman went on to say, “Our allies put their lives on the line alongside our brave service members, and I’m grateful to all who are welcoming our partners.”

Taylor added that 17,000 Afghan refugees have been evacuated since Aug. 14.

This is a developing story and will be modified once more information becomes available.

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