Kabul Evacuation Flights “Paused” For Hours As Military Scrambles To Find Reception Facilities
As of Friday evening local time evacuation flights out of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul have been “paused” according to CNN correspondents.
According to White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, “No flights have left the Kabul airport in the last eight hours,” per a CNN reporter who is on the ground at the airport. Reportedly evacuation stop-off points and facilities at US bases in the Gulf – where the bulk of the some over 10,000 of those Americans and Afghans already flown out have landed – are reaching capacity.
Reportedly US authorities are looking for new locations, including in Europe, for flights to land as Qatari facilities are said to be nearing capacity. CNN is further citing a “scramble” to address the logistics after the disastrous events of Monday clearly revealed the Biden administration was woefully unprepared.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward writes that “Soldiers by the runway at Kabul airport tell me that there are 10,000 people here processed and ready to go… but nowhere to fly them to because Qatar is refusing to accept more Afghans because they’ve reached capacity.”
“It’s abysmal… someone needs to step up,” the official told her. This also comes after Monday’s chaotic events and security crisis as Afghans stampeded onto the runway resulted in deaths, including among people trampled.
The US government is looking at new locations, including in Europe, to relocate Afghans as it nears capacity in Qatar and scrambles to address the crush of people looking to flee Afghanistan, sources tell @kylieatwood, @barbarastarrcnn and @jmhansler.
— Kate Sullivan (@KateSullivanDC) August 20, 2021
The situation is also desperate as Americans are still trapped inside the capital city itself, with Taliban reportedly going door to door to look for them, especially Western defense contractors who may still be on the ground.
There are reports of continued chaos as “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” in terms of Biden admin evacuation efforts…
CNN’s @clarissaward on Biden’s Afghan evac: “It’s totally disorganized. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing … I haven’t seen a plane take off in eight hours.” pic.twitter.com/55wCOfblHT
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 20, 2021
Needless to say the longer that flights are halted at the Kabul airport, the greater the danger for Taliban attacks outside or even upon the airport perimeter as the situation continues to unravel.
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It appears that overnight the flights are set to resume soon after an order from top Pentagon brass…
BREAKING: US Military Orders Restart of Evacuation Flights out of #Afghanistan after Brief Pause (Reuters).
Biden speaking soon. US already evacuated 13,000
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 20, 2021
Fri, 08/20/2021 – 13:05
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