The last flight organized by the United Kingdom to withdraw military personnel from Afghanistan took off from Kabul this Saturday (28).
In the past two weeks, the British have evacuated about 15,000 people, including their own citizens and Afghans, from Afghanistan.
The Taliban returned to dominate the country on August 15th.
Satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows crowd gathered at the northeast gate of Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan’s capital, on Aug. 27, 2021, the day after a terrorist attack at the Abbey gate at another location in the airport — Photo: Maxar Technologies via AP
The United Kingdom has been a partner of the United States since the beginning of the military operation in Afghanistan, after the attacks of September 11, 2001. During the 20 years of occupation, around 450 Britons died in Afghanistan.
- US launches drone strike against Islamic State-k in Afghanistan
- US urges its citizens to leave Kabul airport gates immediately
“It is time to complete this phase of the operation. We still haven’t forgotten about the people who still need to leave, and we’ll do everything we can to help them,” said Laurie Bristow, UK ambassador to Kabul.
Defense Minister Ben Wallace said on Friday that only people who were already at the airport at that time would travel.
An estimated between 800 and 1,100 Afghans who have worked with the UK over the past 20 years met the criteria for leaving Afghanistan but were unable to reach the airport.
General Nick Carter, head of the UK’s armed forces, said the country and its allies could negotiate with the Taliban in the future to confront Islamic State-Khorasan, the Afghan wing of the Islamic State. It was this group that committed a terrorist attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday.
“If the Taliban are able to demonstrate that they can behave the way a normal government would behave towards a terrorist threat, we may find that we can operate together, but we have to wait and see. Certainly some of the stories we’ve heard about the way. how they are treating their enemies would mean that it would be very difficult for us to work with them at the moment.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the situation in Afghanistan with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, when the two leaders agreed that the G7 (Group of Seven Rich Countries) should adopt a common approach to dealing with any future Taliban government.