The Biden administration says it does not know how many U.S. citizens are in Afghanistan hoping to leave in the face of the American withdrawal and Taliban takeover. For days, Pentagon officials said they had no ability to venture outside the Kabul airport to find those Americans and bring them to safety.

Now the military says it is doing just that. “The Pentagon is ramping up evacuations from Kabul’s airport by deploying American helicopters and troops into select spots in Kabul to extract stranded American citizens and Afghan allies,” The New York Times reports. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby would not confirm that any such rescue missions are being conducted. “I would just say that commanders on the ground have the authority to conduct local missions as they deem appropriate to the need,” Kirby said Monday.

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