100 U.S. troops landed in Khartoum and carried out the mission

Special Forces Save U.S. Embassy Staff from Fighting in Sudan

  • Biden called on the warring parties to implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Yes. Me. Yes

  • The U.S. Embassy is based in Khartoum, Sudan. Archival


U.S. special forces carried out a perilous evacuation of U.S. embassy staff in Sudan, according to U.S. officials, and special forces overran the capital Khartoum as three combat helicopters waited for less than an hour.

As the last U.S. employee left the embassy, Washington closed its mission headquarters in Khartoum indefinitely.

There are still thousands of Americans in Sudan. Officials said carrying out a larger-scale evacuation mission would have been very dangerous.

In a statement thanking the special forces, US President Joe Biden said he receives regular reports from his team on efforts to help Americans still in Sudan to the fullest extent possible, and called for an end to the unreasonable violence there.

Nearly 100 U.S. troops in three MH-47 helicopters carried out the evacuation and flown about 70 U.S. personnel from the embassy's landing area to an unknown location in Ethiopia, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Fee said Ethiopia had also provided overflight and refueling support.

"I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our embassy staff who have courageously and professionally performed their duties and embodied the friendship of the United States and its connection to the people of Sudan," Biden said in a statement. I am grateful for the unparalleled skill of our soldiers who successfully moved them to a safe place," Biden also thanked Djibouti, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia for their help in the mission.

U.S. Africa Command and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley were in contact with the warring parties before and during the operation to ensure U.S. forces have safe passage for the evacuation.

However, US Undersecretary of State John Bass denied the announcement by Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces that they had assisted in the US evacuation.

He said some Americans and other citizens had managed to travel overland from Khartoum to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Biden ordered U.S. troops to evacuate embassy staff after receiving a recommendation from his national security team that there was no end in sight to the fighting. Biden said: "This is unconscionable, and it must stop. The warring parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the Sudanese people."

The U.S. State Department suspended work at the embassy due to the deteriorating security situation, and it was unclear when the embassy would resume operations.

The director of operations at the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, said: "We did not get a single bullet in the way and were able to get in and out without problems."

Assistant Secretary of Defense Chris Meyer said the U.S. military could use drones or satellite imagery to monitor threats to Americans traveling on land routes out of Sudan or place naval assets in Port Sudan to help Americans arriving there.