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Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 20 Photo: Aykut Karadag/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The Biden administration on Friday announced that its evacuation flights from Kabul can now land throughout the Middle East and Europe as Qatar has reached capacity, resulting in temporarily halted flights.

State of play: With the U.S. military's efforts to evacuate American citizens and at-risk Afghans from the country ramping up, and Qatar's al-Udeid air base at maximum capacity, the U.S. was scrambling for more places to take evacuees.

  • Bahrain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan "have been or will soon be transiting Americans or in some circumstances, others, through their territories to safety," the State Department said on Friday.
  • State Department spokesman Ned Price said that "Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Ukraine and Uganda have also made generous offers regarding the relocation efforts for at-risk Afghans."
  • No U.S. flights left Kabul for eight hours on Friday afternoon as Qatar had reached capacity.
    • President Biden clarified later Friday that the flights had paused to process the arriving evacuees at the transit point, but that Kabul officials already gave orders for outbound flights to resume.

The big picture: Evacuation efforts are speeding up as the original Aug. 31 deadline approaches. Biden already said that U.S. troops will stay until every American is evacuated, even if that means staying longer than expected.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout as more news becomes available.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - World

Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 safely leaves Afghanistan

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House residence. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue President Biden in Afghanistan in 2008 when he was a senator has safely left the country with his wife and five children, the State Department confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Aman Khalili, who was instrumental to the mission that rescued Biden's helicopter when it was caught in a snowstorm according to U.S. veterans, was forced into hiding after the Taliban took over Kabul.

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 14 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

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