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Afghans continue to wait around the Hamid Karzai International Airport as they try to leave Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on Saturday. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Pentagon "issued a warning order" to U.S. commercial airlines that it may compel them to assist in evacuations from Afghanistan, the Defense Department confirmed in an emailed statement Saturday.

Why it matters: President Biden has vowed to use "every means" to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies amid reports of a deteriorating situation at Kabul's airport after the Taliban seized control of the country.

Driving the news: The Biden administration was expected to provide almost 20 commercial planes from "up to five airlines" to help U.S. military efforts in transporting Afghan evacuees from American bases around the region, the Wall Street Journal first reported Saturday.

  • The commercial planes wouldn't fly into Kabul's airport.
  • Such an order would be made under the activation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF, established in 1952 following the post-World War II Berlin airlift.

What they're saying: "A warning order informs industry partners of a potential activation but can be rescinded if the Defense Department deems additional aircraft are not required to meet mission requirements," said Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mitchell to Axios, confirming Friday's notification to U.S. airlines.

Go deeper: U.S. expands evacuation outposts to Middle East, Europe

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.

27 mins ago - World

Israel to approve new construction in West Bank settlements

Bennett (L) and Biden discussed the settlements issue. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israel will approve the construction of 4,400 new homes in the West Bank next week: 3,10o in the Jewish settlements and 1,300 in Palestinian villages.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Israel has approved new settlement building since President Biden assumed office, and it's the first time since 2007 that it approves a significant number of new homes for Palestinians in "Area C" of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel.

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted 229-202 on Thursday to hold former Trump strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The Justice Department will now consider bringing criminal charges against Bannon, marking a significant escalation in the Jan. 6 committee's efforts to enforce subpoenas against Trump allies who refuse to cooperate.