Saturday, October 16, 2021

Kabul evacuation: ‘Never leave planes empty’ says UK defense minister

British military aircraft never leave Kabul empty-handed, according to the British Defense Minister, in response to reports of some flights going on board without any evacuation.

Britain was “thoroughly plowing through the numbers”, says Defense Secretary Ben Wallaceold bbc On 19 August, following stories of Taliban outposts at the airport, movement of Afghans was disrupted and planes fled.

Wallace gave the example of the most recent flights, which he said flew 115 and 138 each.

He said many out-of-country flights were at full capacity.

“I can’t vote for other countries, but our planes never go empty,” he said. “If we have space on them, we offer them to other countries. We recently pulled out some NATO interpreters, we evacuated some from other neighboring states in Europe.”

According to Wallace, seven to 10 RAF aircraft were flying daily.

He also told Times Radio that he didn’t think many other countries were sending empty planes.

Yug Times Photos
People disembark from an evacuated RAF military transport aircraft from Afghanistan International Airport in Dubai, which is serving as a staging post, on its way to the UK on August 19, 2021 (Giuseppe Caques/AFP via Getty Images)

Kabul has been relatively calm since the arrival of Taliban forces over the weekend, but with few reports of violence. The airport, however, which provides the only passage for migrants and for Afghans who fear retaliation, has been a hotbed of chaos and tension.

A NATO and Taliban official said 12 people had died in and around the airport since then. According to a Taliban official, these deaths were either from bullets or a stampede.

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Gunmen opened fire in the air at several entrances to the airport on Thursday, causing a crowd of children, including women, to disperse. It is not clear whether the Taliban were firing or the security personnel who were helping the US military inside.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on the morning of 18 August that the UK had achieved the “safe return” of 306 UK nationals and 2,052 Afghan nationals as part of its resettlement program – and 2,000 Afghan applications had been completed and more processed. are going.

Wallace said Britain’s troops would remain in Afghanistan “as long as United States forces are operating the airport.”

British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow has said that Foreign Office personnel expect to evacuate “at least” 1,000 people from the country every day. His warning that there were “days, not weeks” left to complete the mission, echoed Wallace, who said that “every hour counts.”

PA contributed to this report

Simon Weezy

Simon Weezy

freelance reporter

Simon Vezzy is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on a variety of beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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