In light of the increased levels of Taliban violence after the US troops’ withdrawal, Biden administration is working on providing certain Afghans, who do not qualify for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program but worked with the US, with an opportunity for refugee resettlement, CNN learns.
According to the State Department statements’ on Monday, the new Priority 2 designation will expand access to the US refugee program Congress created to allow Afghans and Iraqis targeted because of their work for the US troops to relocate to safety in the US.
It will enable access to Afghans that did not have qualifying employment or haven’t met the time-in-service requirement to become eligible for the SIV program but are of special concern designated by the Department of State due to their circumstances and need for resettlement.
Meanwhile, the US acted on its promise and increased airstrikes against the Taliban in a bid to turn back their advances on key provincial capitals in Afghanistan, targeting Taliban positions around Herat, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, over the past 72 hours.
The three cities were considered endangered by Taliban advances amid heavy fighting with the Afghan government forces in Lashkar Gah, which sits on strategic routes in all directions, including the highway between Kandahar and Herat.