Jha Washington: A total of 7,000 individuals have been shifted from Afghanistan since the start of vacating operations on August 14 and more than 5,200 US troops are in Kabul, the Pentagon said on Thursday. Aggregately, the number of individuals removed out of Afghanistan is somewhere about 12,000.
The Taliban seized Afghanistan on Sunday. Their sudden triumph, which comes as the US retracts from the country following a 20-year-war, has evoked chaos at Kabul’s airport, from where America and corresponding nations are trying to safely shift thousands of citizens and allies. “The US military footprint and Kabul now has over 5,200 total troops on the ground. Kabul airport remains protected and open for flight operations. There are now numerous gates that have access for entry into the airfield, which will help accelerate processing in a safe and orderly manner,” said Major General Hank Taylor, Commanding General of the Army Operational Test Command.
Major General Taylor, who has been given the authority to airlift US citizens from Afghanistan amid the Taliban crisis, said in the preceding 24 hours, 13 C-17s arrived with additional armies and equipment, and 12 C-17 military planes departed. These carriers, containing more than 2,000 commuters, left Kabul and arrived at designated shelter and staging areas in the CENTCOM zone of operation, he said.
“Since the commence of operations on August 14, we have airlifted roughly 7,000 total evacuees. This soar is reflective of both progress of aircraft and airlift capability, faster processing of evacuees, and greater data and fidelity in reporting, Taylor told reporters at a Pentagon news meeting. The US, he said, is prepared to escalate throughput and have programmed aircraft departures accordingly.
“We hope to maximize each plane’s capacity. We’re prioritising people above all else. And we’re concentrating on doing this as safely as possible with extremity, he said. At a separate news meeting, State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated to reporters that there are 6,000 individuals at the airport right now who’ve been fully processed by a consular team and will soon board planes.
“Overnight, we crucially extended how many American citizens locally employed staff, SIV applicants, and other unsafe Afghans who are eligible for departure, and we proffer to consider transit to the airport. We’re aware of crowding around the airport. We are working closely with the Department of Defense to provide safe and orderly access for consular processing on the airport compound, he said. Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke with the G7 foreign ministers and the high spokesperson of the European Union to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, he said.
“All leaders emphasised the essentiality of safe passage for those who wish to exit Afghanistan and the need for an inclusive political resolution that would save the fundamental human rights of all Afghans, Price said. He said the leaders sympathized that the international community’s relationship with the Taliban will rely on their actions and not their words.
“Blinken and the G7 foreign ministers also canvassed on counterterrorism, humanitarian efforts, refugee migration, and they consent to remain in touch on all fronts going forward. Secretary Blinken greeted his foreign partners for their steadfast commitment to supporting the Afghan people,” Price said.