About 19,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul airport in 24 hours. The White House announced this on Wednesday morning (local time). These are people who have been evacuated by American military flights and by flights from coalition partners.
Forty-two US Air Force planes flew people over from Kabul between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as did 48 aircraft from international partners. The US evacuated 11,200 people, the other countries another 7,800.
Already 82,300 evacuees
About 82,300 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the start of the evacuation mission, the White House said. On Tuesday, the Pentagon said that just over 5,000 people were still waiting at the airport to board a flight. According to Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder (PS), our country has already evacuated more than 1,140 people.
Hard US deadline
The US is sticking to the August 31 deadline to leave Afghanistan. Pressure is therefore mounting to evacuate so many people from Kabul by that date. Defence sources said Tuesday that the first American soldiers were leaving the country.
The US secures Kabul airport. Without their presence, it will therefore be very difficult for other countries to plan evacuations. In addition, the countries must also ensure that all their military personnel have left the country by August 31, which prevents the evacuations from continuing until the very last minute.
Minister Dedonder said in De Tijd and L’Echo on Wednesday that the US has made it clear that the coalition partners have been given until Friday, August 27, for their evacuations. After August 27, the Americans want to use the airport to get their people and equipment out of Kabul.