The UK’s evacuation flights from Afghanistan could must cease by the tip of the week after Boris Johnson did not safe an extension to a US deadline for all western forces to depart.
The Guardian newspaper reported late on Tuesday that the final Royal Air Power plane carrying Afghans to security from Kabul airport may even be within the subsequent “24 to 36 hours”.
However defence sources described the timeline as speculative and stated it was not “set in stone”.
Nonetheless, a crew of greater than 1,000 British troops and diplomats operating Britain’s evacuation mission on the bottom will want a time period to pack up their tools and depart forward of the ultimate US exit date of 31 August – subsequent Tuesday.
It implies that evacuation flights for Afghan civilians determined to flee the nation after a shock Taliban takeover should cease a minimum of plenty of days earlier than then.
Ministers have made it clear that the UK can not stay on the airport with out the presence of a 6,000-strong US power, which has been offering safety and can also be operating the airfield.
But, officers have additionally been cautious to not discuss publicly about precise plans for the ultimate drawdown, involved concerning the threat of triggering a brand new rush of males, ladies and youngsters to the airport to attempt to entry flights as quickly as they realise when they are going to cease.
Final weekend a number of individuals have been crushed to demise in chaotic scenes exterior the gates.
Then once more, Britain’s prime minister and different allies failed to influence US President Joe Biden to delay the US exit deadline throughout a digital G7 assembly of world powers on Tuesday – so it’s no secret for any Afghans desirous to be evacuated that their time is proscribed.
The Washington Publish reported on Tuesday that US troops have began to tug out of Kabul already.
Whilst the tip of the evacuation looms, the tempo of flights and the variety of individuals being airlifted to security stays excessive.
Greater than 9,200 individuals – British nationals in addition to Afghans who’ve labored with British troops and diplomats over the previous 20 years however are actually in peril – have been flown to security within the UK since 13 August as a part of what has been dubbed Operation Pitting.
The Ministry of Defence stated in a press release concerning the mission: “The evacuation course of will run so long as the safety state of affairs permits in joint coordination with our US companions. No agency date has but been set for the tip of evacuation flights.”