Joe Biden says US has evacuated 12,000 more people from Kabul
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Some 2,000 have been airlifted to the UK in the last 24 hours – a total of 9,226 since August 13. A flight carrying hundreds of evacuees arrived at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, in the early hours of yesterday. Captain Muraal, 26, who served in the Afghan National Army for eight years, but had to cross several Taliban checkpoints to reach British troops at Kabul’s airport.
The officer, who trained at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, Swindon, and studied for a masters degree in military and security studies at King’s College London, said: “We made it through because of the British military. We are safe here at the air base and we will be safer still in the UK.
“The route to safety was harsh, a humanitarian disaster. People waited many nights as the Taliban controlled the first gate. There was a lot of suffering.”
Capt Muraal’s immediate family have also been evacuated from Kabul because of the danger they face from the Taliban.
But with US and UK forces poised to pull out of Kabul in days, efforts to resettle those seeking to escape were gathering pace yesterday.
US and UK forces were said to be “doubling down” on efforts to get people away from an increasingly febrile atmosphere at the capital’s Hamid Karzai Airport.
Washington rescued 10,400 people using 28 military jets, its biggest evacuation over the last 24 hours.
It brings the US total to nearly 48,000 taken out of Kabul since the military withdrawal began on August 14.
With flights now leaving every 45 minutes, America’s removal of evacuees is being stepped up by the day, the Pentagon said.
But on the ground outside the airport terminal, the terrified and anxious still trying to flee desperately sought information from news crews as they held on to dwindling hope.
On the Tarmac, BBC reporter Secunder Kermani said: “People crowd around asking us for information about the evacuation process. Most don’t have permission to travel but are desperate to do an ra Bthth B so anyway.” However, it looked like many could lose the race against time. Both the British Government and US forces warned they may simply not be able to evacuate all fleeing Afghans by August 31.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We have taken out 2,000 people in the last 24 hours and 10,000 since April.
“Our focus is to get as many people [as possible] out. But the scale of the challenge means that not everyone will get out. We are ruthlessly prioritising people.
“We want to stay longer if it is possible to do so. The two people with the biggest vote in the room are the US and the Taliban.
“[The Taliban] could make life incredibly difficult. It will be a discussion between the US government and the Taliban. If America makes a decision that it doesn’t want to extend, then we will be out by 31 August.” As Covid infections rose and medical supplies dwindled, the World Health Organisation expressed fears over those trying to escape – and the ability of bodies such as itself to ship in aid to an already chaotic situation on the ground.
A senior WHO official said it now had only enough supplies in Afghanistan to last for a week after medical deliveries from abroad were blocked by restrictions at Kabul airport.
WHO regional director Ahmed Al-Mandhari said: “We rapidly distributed lifesaving supplies to health facilities and partners in Kabul, Kandahar and Kunduz, but WHO now only has enough supplies in country to last one week.
“Yesterday 70 percent of these supplies were released to health facilities.”
Meanwhile, rebel fighters from the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, based in the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, have appealed for world support to fight the Taliban if peace moves fail.
Source: Read Full Article