Time.news – Someone will be left behind. And there won’t be a few. They will remain in the hands of the Taliban, who have been chasing relentlessly since their return to power after collaborating with the allies. They will remain hidden until they won’t be able to track them down or find a way out towards the West.
Because the massive rescue operation of whistleblowers, interpreters, former soldiers and collaborators of various kinds that in the last 20 years have helped NATO to keep the delicate security situation in Afghanistan under control, will fail. Not entirely, perhaps, but it will fail. It is the awareness reached, for example, by Germany, France and Spain who have said bluntly that it will not be possible to bring everyone to safety by August 31st. Or Great Britain, which has resigned itself to the fact that the deadline cannot be postponed. Berlin will continue evacuating civilians from Afghanistan for as long as possible, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said, urging that the Taliban’s words be taken seriously, opposing any extension of the August 31 deadline.
And while the European Union quadruples its funding to help Afghans, the uninterrupted airlift has to deal with a logistical and security situation that deteriorates by the hour. The EU evacuated all staff from its delegation to Afghanistan and their families from Kabul, though some collaborators remained at the airport to manage other evacuations in progress. “All the staff that needed to be evacuated have been evacuated” said the European Commission spokesman, Eric Mamer, “We still have a base presence at the airport to handle what needs to be managed, but the EU delegation staff and their families have been evacuated. “
Also all the Italians we had asked to leave they left the country, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said. “We brought almost 2,700 Afghans to Italy, mainly collaborators of Italian institutions, starting from our military contingent, and their families. A number destined to grow, considering about a thousand Afghans already safely at the airport and expected to board the next Italian flights” he said. said, “After the Americans have left the airport in Kabul, the hypothesized date for now is at the end of the month, it will not be possible, either for us or for any country of the Alliance, to maintain any presence”.
To date, 3,741 Afghans have been secured by the Italians, of whom 2,659 arrived with 44 flights, said Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini during the hearing before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees of the Chamber and Senate. 38% are men, 30% are women and the remaining 32% are children.
“At today’s G7 leaders videoconference I will announce an increase in humanitarian support for Afghans, in and around the country, from over € 50 million to over € 200 million. This humanitarian aid will add to the contributions from Member States to help Afghan people “writes the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen in a tweet.
But in the meantime, France announces that will conclude the evacuations from Afghanistan on Thursday 26 August if the United States confirms full withdrawal by August 31st. Nicolas Roche, chief of staff of the transalpine foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, admits disconsolately: “If the United States fully completes the withdrawal on August 31 as planned, it means for us that our operation ends Thursday evening, so we are left. three days”
Spain, for its part, will fail to evacuate all cooperating Afghan citizens with the Madrid diplomatic mission in Kabul due to the “dramatic” situation on the ground. Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles told Cadena Ser. “We will evacuate as many people as possible but there are people who will be left behind for reasons that do not depend on us but on the situation there,” explained Robles.
It is “unlikely” that evacuations from Kabul airport are extended beyond the August 31 deadline, said the British Minister of Defense, Ben Wallace, while the President of the United States, Joe Biden, at 6 pm Italian time, will release statements on the state of operations at the Kabul airport and on the G7 summit.
In the last 24 hours, 10,900 people have been evacuated. The transfer was made possible thanks to 15 US military flights which carried around 6,660 displaced persons and 34 coalition flights which carried 4,300 people. The White House also recalls that from 14 August the United States evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 48,000 people. Since the end of July, around 53,000 people have been transferred.
The operations to evacuate the 10,900 people lasted a total of 12 hours, the White House said in a tweet. And there are already 662 displaced people from Afghanistan who have landed at Nas di Sigonella as part of the “Allies Refuge” operation. A first group arrived aboard a US Air Force KC-10 Extender from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, then two more C-17 Globemaster III aircraft arrived.
Operation Allies Refuge is the US State Department’s plan for the safe evacuation of US citizens, special immigration visa applicants and other Afghans at risk as quickly and safely as possible. Working in collaboration with its allies in the Italian Air Force and the Italian government, the Nas Sigonella is serving as a transit site for displaced persons before their subsequent movement to other locations.
Italy, along with Spain and Germany, have pledged to host 15,000 Afghan refugees before they are resettled in the United States. “Germany, Italy and Spain worked bravely alongside US troops and other NATO allies in Afghanistan and now cthey continue to help the Afghan people by collaborating with our efforts to evacuate Afghans at risk “announced State Department spokesman Ned Price, who did not say whether there will be a time limit for such collaboration or how many refugees will be hosted by each country, but explained that refugees will be temporarily housed in military bases that the United States has jointly with those European countries.
In the case of Spain, four thousand Afghans will be in the military bases of Moron (Seville) and Rota (Cadiz); in the case of Germany, about seven thousand people are already at the Ramstein base, where military personnel have set up several tents to shelter the displaced, including many children.
As for Italy, it is indeed the Nas of Sigonella in Sicily where the Afghans are evacuated before they are transferred to other locations as part of the Allies Refuge operation. The objective, according to Price, that Spain, Italy and Germany can host 15,000 people “in rotation”, that is, once the situation of one group of refugees has been clarified, another group takes its place.