France, UK’s Kabul evacuation to end days before August 31 US withdrawal

The French evacuation operation from Kabul airport will “very [probably]” end on Thursday, days before the August 31 date set for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune told broadcaster CNews on Wednesday.

About 2,000 Afghans have been evacuated to France since the start of the operation on August 16, as well as over 100 French citizens. A “few dozen” French citizens remain in Afghanistan, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said.

Britain’s Foreign Minister Dominic Raab shared a different timeline as he said the deadline for Afghanistan evacuations remained August 31 during a Sky News interview.

But the August 31 deadline means that the evacuation of Afghan refugees has to finish before then, U.K. defense officials told the Guardian. U.S. forces need two to three days to close down their operations in Kabul, and Britain wants its military out at least 24 hours before that, meaning U.K. troops are likely to leave for the last time on Friday or Saturday. The British defense officials added that the British evacuation will end within “24 to 36 hours.”

Following the final evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghan refugees, the 1,000 British soldiers still in the country need to make it out. A senior government official told the Guardian that thousands of at-risk Afghans will be left behind.

Raab said that around 2,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul airport to the U.K. in the last 24 hours and that “the system is operating at full speed.”

The Taliban has set a last exit date of August 31 for all foreign evacuations.



Source by [author_name]