#AceNewsReport – Aug.27: It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process,” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: The MoD said processing facilities at the Baron Hotel, outside the airport in Kabul, had been closed.
#AceDailyNews says that UK enters final stages of evacuation on Thursday evening, the MoD said 13,146 people had been evacuated by the UK from Kabul under Operation Pitting, which began on 13 August. BBC NewsDefence Secretary Ben Wallace: UK will evacuate final 1,000 people on Friday
BBC News By Becky Morton
The US, which is running the airport, is withdrawing its troops by 31 August.
It comes after two explosions hit Kabul airport on Thursday, killing some 90 people – among them 13 US military personnel.
At least 150 people were also wounded in the attack, which the so-called Islamic State group says it was behind.
But Mr Wallace said the UK’s withdrawal “wasn’t hastened by the attack”.
Mr Wallace said this included nearly 8,000 Afghans eligible under the UK’s relocation scheme for those who worked for the UK government and other vulnerable individuals, as well as 4,000 British passport holders.
Others evacuated include embassy staff and nationals from partner nations.
The defence secretary said the operation was “a remarkable achievement” in a “very hostile environment”.
But he told LBC Radio around 800 to 1,100 eligible Afghans would be left behind, as well as approximately 100 to 150 British nationals, some of whom he said were staying willingly.
Mr Wallace told BBC Breakfast eight to nine more flights would come into Kabul to evacuate around 1,000 people who remained inside the airfield. He would not confirm when the last British troops would leave the country, but said this would be before the US withdrew by 31 August. ‘
While the evacuation operation from the airport is coming to an end, Mr Wallace told the Today programme the UK’s Afghan relocation scheme would remain open “indefinitely”. He added that if eligible people were able to get to other countries, the UK could process them there. The defence secretary said it was likely the Taliban would want to keep the airport functioning in the future and people may be able to leave by that route “in the medium term”.
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, who served in Afghanistan, said the military had done “an amazing job” but many people, including his own interpreter, would not get out of the country. “I’m not giving up but my anger and shame for those we’ve left behind to be hunted by the Taliban is growing,” he said in a tweet. With the deadline fast looming the British evacuation operation was always going to end soon. Other European nations have already ended their rescue flights. But the attacks at the airport have made it more dangerous.
The Ministry of Defence says the decision to close the UK’s processing centre reflects the situation on the ground with “an ongoing and serious threat of terrorist attack at the airport”. It means no new cases will be processed. Some of the 1,000 British troops on the ground have already left. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says some military equipment will have to be left behind. As throughout this operation it is the United States that is dictating the sequence of this withdrawal. And it will be US forces, who have provided the bulk of the security, who will be the last to leave.
The MoD said closing processing facilities would enable the UK to focus efforts on evacuating those who were already at the airport ready to leave. “The UK’s ability to process further cases is now extremely reduced and additional numbers will be limited,” it said in a statement.”Evacuating all those civilians we have already processed will free up the capacity needed on UK military aircraft to bring out our remaining diplomats and military personnel.”Mr Wallace said the risk of attacks by the Islamic State group in Afghanistan would increase as foreign forces left. “I’m absolutely concerned that, until we’ve gone, there’s an absolute threat to our forces, and even after we’ve gone there’s a threat to the Afghan people from Isis,” he said.
#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.27: 2021:
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