With thousands of troops trying to secure Kabul’s airport, Washington has set a deadline to complete one of the largest evacuation missions the Pentagon has ever conducted by Aug 31.
Up to 15,000 Americans need to be removed from Afghanistan, according to President Joe Biden, who says the administration wants to get at least 50,000 Afghan allies and their family members out of the country.
Widely criticised over the chaotic exit after a sudden Taliban victory, Biden has warned that the frantic effort to fly Americans, other foreigners and Afghan allies out of Taliban-occupied Kabul is dangerous.
The situation was further complicated on Saturday when the US government warned its citizens to stay away from the airport because of “security threats”.
The Pentagon said on Saturday that 17,000 people had so far been taken out since the operation began on Aug 14, with many flown first to Qatar or Kuwait. The total included 2,500 Americans.
The CRAF has only been activated twice – to fly troops for the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War and again in 2002 to 2003 for the Iraq invasion.
Source: Channel News Asia