Afghanistan evacuations: Britain says last civilian flight to depart today
Britain on Saturday said that their last flight carrying civilians out of Afghanistan would depart today and the country’s troops would be evacuated using the remaining aircraft. The country's chief of the defence staff General Nick Carter said that hundreds of Afghan nationals who are eligible for resettlement in the UK are likely to be left behind.
The remarks from the armed forces chief came a day after Britain’s defence minister Ben Wallace on Friday said that the country is entering “the final hours” of its evacuation in Kabul and would only process people who were already inside the airport.
While Wallace said that an estimated 800 to 1,100 people in Afghanistan, who had worked with the UK would not make it out of Kabul, Carter noted that the total would be in “high hundreds”.
“We're reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today, and then of course it'll be necessary to bring our troops out on the remaining aircraft,” BBC quoted the General as saying.
“It's gone as well as it could do in the circumstances... but we haven't been able to bring everybody out and that has been heartbreaking and there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground,” he added. However, he also said that people who have not been evacuated but leave Afghanistan through other ways “will always be welcome in Britain.”
Late on Friday, the UK’s defence ministry said that more than 14,500 people, including British and Afghan nationals, were airlifted out of Afghanistan in the days following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. The UK had deployed over 1,000 military personnel at the peak of the evacuation operations in securing the Kabul airport. The last date for ceasing operations at the Kabul airport is August 31.