“We haven’t been able to bring everybody out, and that has been heartbreaking,” Gen. Carter told the BBC. “There have been some very challenging judgments that have had to be made on the ground.”
France, too, has ended its evacuations, French officials said Friday.
Three days remain before President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Yet the mission was already slowing, as it shifted from airlifting Afghan civilians to bringing home American troops and military personnel.
About 6,800 people were evacuated from the airport over the previous 24 hours, Maj. General Hank Taylor, Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations, said on Saturday, bringing the total to 117,000 since the operation began on Aug. 14. Evacuations were down from early Thursday, prior to the suicide attack, when White House officials said that 13,400 people had been airlifted in the previous 24 hours.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans are still thought to be seeking to flee the country, yet Mr. Biden and other global leaders have acknowledged that many will not get out before the deadline.
There were signs on Saturday that the evacuation effort at the airport was slowing.
Roads leading to the airport were closed, and the large crowds that had strained in recent days to push inside had dissipated in the aftermath of the bombing, which struck as U.S. troops were screening people trying to enter.