Taliban deploy additional forces around Kabul airport
By the associated press
LONDON – Military jets carrying British troops and diplomats from Kabul land at a British air base after the end of the two-week evacuation operation from the United Kingdom.
British Ambassador to Afghanistan Laurie Bristow was among those who arrived at RAF Brize Norton in northwest London on Sunday, hours after the government announced all British personnel had left Kabul.
Britain said it evacuated more than 15,000 vulnerable British and Afghan citizens in the past two weeks, but that up to 1,100 Afghans who were allowed to come to the UK have been left behind.
Vice Admiral Ben Key, who was in charge of the British operation, said: “We have done our best.
In a video message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the “colossal” effort, saying it was “a mission unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime.”
But he faces stiff criticism for failing to bring to safety all those Afghans who assisted British forces during the 20-year deployment to Afghanistan that began in the aftermath of 9/11.
Johnson acknowledged that Britain “would not have liked to leave this way”, but said “we have to recognize that we entered with the United States, to defend and support the United States and that the military America led most of the fighting. “
MORE ABOUT AFGHANISTAN:
– Biden: Another attack likely, promises more strikes against ISIS
– Killed marine who cradled her baby at Kabul airport loved her job
– GOP divide widens amid growing hostility towards Afghan refugees
– Taliban success in Afghanistan seen as boost for extremists
– Explanation: how dangerous is the Islamic State of Afghanistan?
– Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
TIRANA, Albania – Two more planes brought Taliban-fearing Afghans to Albania, bringing the total number of evacuees to 457.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday that the two planes landed at dawn with 154 and 28 Afghans respectively. Most of them will be temporarily housed at a student campus in the capital Tirana, while others have been sent directly to hotels.
Albania aims to house all evacuees in hotels instead of camps to give them a sense of normalcy.
Albania was among the first countries to provide housing for Afghans who worked with US and NATO forces and others fearing revenge after the Taliban takeover.
Afghans in Albania come from different backgrounds, including activists and academics, and include children.
MADRID – The U.S. Embassy in Spain has said that a third flight sent by U.S. forces to Spain has arrived at the Rota military base.
The flight arrived early Sunday with 220 evacuees from Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan – The US State Department urges all Americans near the Afghan airport in Kabul to immediately leave the area due to a specific and credible threat.
The early Sunday morning warning says U.S. citizens should avoid going to the airport and avoid all airport gates for now. He specifically noted the south gate (Airport Circle), the new Interior Ministry and the gate near the Panjshir gas station on the northwest side of the airport.
A suicide bombing at the airport on Thursday killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US servicemen.