(London) The UK civilian evacuation operation in Afghanistan will end on Saturday, British Forces General Nick Carter said ahead of the military withdrawal.
Posted on Aug 28, 2021 at 7:30 am
“We are nearing the end of the evacuation, which will take place later in the day, and then of course our troops will have to be removed from the remaining plane,” he said on BBC Radio 4.
According to him, there are “very few” devices left to evacuate civilians from Afghanistan via Kabul airport, where thousands of people hoping to leave Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Taliban in August.
The evacuation “went as smoothly as possible under the circumstances,” said General Carter, “but we couldn’t get everyone out and it’s heartbreaking.”
The Department of Defense said Friday that more than 14,500 people have been evacuated since August 13, including around 8,000 Afghans who are eligible for the program for Afghan personnel on the ground in the UK.
He said that after the closure of the treatment center in the Hotel Baron near the airport, from now on only those candidates whose cases had already been treated would be exfiltrated.
“The UK’s ability to handle other cases is now severely limited and the additional numbers (in terms of evacuated civilians) will be limited,” he added, stressing the need to make room “for the remaining diplomats and military personnel to bring out “.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace estimated on Friday that up to 150 British nationals and between 800 and 1,100 Afghans eligible to vote could not be exfiltrated, causing outrage among ranks of conservatives and opposition alike.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured that he would move “heaven and earth” to vote for the withdrawal of American soldiers on March 31.
Several countries have already announced that they will end evacuations, including France.