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The evacuation of some 40,000 Brits, Americans and Afghans who sided with the West from Taliban-occupied Kabul is about to take weeks whereas hundreds of individuals camp out at the US-controlled Kabul airport.

Currently flights are grounded after floods of determined Afghans invaded the runways and tried to leap onto passing US planes earlier than two stowaways fell to their deaths.

The airport is being secured by 6,000 US troops however they yesterday failed to cease the runway being invaded regardless of helicopters getting used to attempt to herd folks off the tarmac.

Meanwhile there are no less than 34,000 folks – each residents and Afghan allies – hoping to be rescued by the US and Britain and an unknown quantity counting on European international locations, Canada and Australia.

The US hopes to be in a position to evacuate 5,000 folks a day and the UK 1,000 a day however has to date each have managed a tiny fraction of that.

Britain’s pressure in the Afghan capital at the moment stands at round 600 personnel, with one other 300 on their method to assist rescue the 4,000 or so UK nationals – together with locals who sided with Western forces towards the jihadis.

The Government’s plan is to have all British nationals evacuated by the finish of the month, flying out greater than 1,000 each day.

But to date round 300 folks, together with Britons and Afghans eligible for settlement, have been flown out, which means the charge stands at roughly 100 evacuations a day. Unless that charge will increase dramatically, it will take greater than a month to attain the 4,000-person goal.

MailOnline understands that 12 British navy plane have to date been utilised in bringing again Britons and others trapped in Kabul.    

Britain’s pressure in the Afghan capital at the moment stands at round 600 personnel, comprised of 16 Air Assault Brigade, Logistics, Medics and RAF servicemen, with one other 300 on their method to assist rescue the 4,000 or so UK nationals – together with locals who sided with Western forces towards the jihadis. Pictured: British residents and twin nationals residing in Afghanistan being relocated to the U.Ok. as a part of Operation PITTING

Afghan people sit as they wait to leave the Kabul airport on August 16, 2021, after an end to Afghanistan's 20-year war

Afghan folks sit as they wait to go away the Kabul airport on August 16, 2021, after an finish to Afghanistan’s 20-year warfare

People struggle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country after rumors that foreign countries are evacuating people even without visas, after the Taliban over run of Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 August

People wrestle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the nation after rumors that overseas international locations are evacuating folks even with out visas, after the Taliban over run of Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 August

The UK Armed Forces are enabling the relocation of personnel and others from Afghanistan. On Sunday 16th August the first flight of evacuated personnel arrived at RAF Brize Norton in the UK

The UK Armed Forces are enabling the relocation of personnel and others from Afghanistan. On Sunday sixteenth August the first flight of evacuated personnel arrived at RAF Brize Norton in the UK

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 revealed empty skies for civilian aircraft over Afghanistan on Monday evening

Flight monitoring web site FlightRadar24 revealed empty skies for civilian plane over Afghanistan on Monday night

The U.S. navy is aiming to fly up to 30,000 folks out of the Afghan capital, together with embassy personnel, U.S. residents, particular immigration visa (SIV) candidates and different at-risk people. Of that complete, 8,000 will be transported to a 3rd nation for visa processing, with the different 22,000 heading to the United States.

Pentagon officers mentioned America intends to ship over sufficient plane to fly out as many as 5,000 civilians a day, together with U.S. residents together with Afghan translators and others who labored with the nation throughout the warfare.

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 80,000 SIV candidates and relations require evacuation, however the Biden administration so far has solely evacuated a fraction of that complete.

U.N. resident coordinator in Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, mentioned at present that the current preventing had displaced some 600,000 folks, and the uncertainty and fluid nature of the state of affairs means humanitarian groups usually are not in a position to assist all over the place.

FALL OF KABUL: A TIMELINE OF THE TALIBAN’S FAST ADVANCE AFTER 40 YEARS OF CONFLICT

Feb. 29, 2020 Trump negotiates take care of the Taliban setting U.S. withdrawal date for May 1, 2021 

Nov. 17, 2020 Pentagon broadcasts it will scale back troop ranges to 2500 in Afghanistan

Jan. 15, 2020 Inspector basic reveals ‘hubris and lying’ of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan 

Feb 3. 2021 Afghan Study Group report warns towards withdrawing  ‘irresponsibly’

March Military command makes last-ditch effort to speak Biden out of withdrawal 

April 14 Biden broadcasts withdrawal will be accomplished by Sept. 11 

May 4 – Taliban fighters launch a serious offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand province. They additionally assault in no less than six different provinces

May 11 – The Taliban seize Nerkh district simply exterior the capital Kabul as violence intensifies throughout the nation

June 7 – Senior authorities officers say greater than 150 Afghan troopers are killed in 24 hours as preventing worsens. They add that preventing is raging in 26 of the nation’s 34 provinces

June 22 – Taliban fighters launch a sequence of assaults in the north of the nation, removed from their conventional strongholds in the south. The UN envoy for Afghanistan says they’ve taken greater than 50 of 370 districts

July 2 – The U.S. evacuates Bagram Airfield in the center of the evening 

July 5 – The Taliban say they might current a written peace proposal to the Afghan authorities as quickly as August

July 21 – Taliban insurgents management a couple of half of the nation’s districts, in accordance to the senior U.S. basic, underlining the scale and pace of their advance

July 25 – The United States vows to proceed to assist Afghan troops “in the coming weeks” with intensified airstrikes to assist them counter Taliban assaults

July 26 – The United Nations says almost 2,400 Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest quantity for these months since data began in 2009 

Aug. 6 – Zaranj in the south of the nation turns into the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years. Many extra are to comply with in the ensuing days, together with the prized metropolis of Kunduz in the north 

Aug. 13 – Pentagon insists Kabul will not be underneath imminent menace 

Aug. 14 – The Taliban take the main northern metropolis of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province simply 70 km (40 miles) south of Kabul. The United States sends extra troops to assist evacuate its civilians from Kabul as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he’s consulting with native and worldwide companions on subsequent steps

Aug. 15 – The Taliban take the key jap metropolis of Jalalabad with out a combat, successfully surrounding Kabul

Taliban insurgents enter Kabul, an inside ministry official says, as the United States evacuate diplomats from its embassy by helicopter

 

The U.S. pressure in Kabul airport at the moment stands at round 3,000-strong, however that quantity is anticipated to quickly double amid mounting considerations that Afghan safety contractors may mutiny in the event that they suppose they will not be set free of the nation.

America’s plans to evacuate tens of hundreds of Afghan civilians now appear much less doubtless to be realised as Taliban militants in U.S.-issued armored autos encompass Hamid Karzai International Airport, chopping it off from the remainder of Kabul.

On Sunday, greater than 60 international locations issued a joint assertion calling for all Afghans wishing to depart Afghanistan to be allowed to accomplish that. Of the 27 member states of the European Union, solely Hungary and Bulgaria didn’t signal the assertion.   

Germany’s overseas minister Heiko Maas mentioned on Monday that the worldwide group had ‘misjudged the state of affairs’, including: ‘Neither we nor our companions and specialists did foresee the pace which with the Afghan safety forces withdrew and capitulated.’ 

Maas mentioned that of the 2,500 embassy staffer who had been recognized beforehand for evacuation, 1,900 had already been introduced to Germany. In addition to the 600 nonetheless remaining on the floor, Maas added that Germany feels accountable to evacuate one other 2,000 folks – together with human rights activist and their households.

He mentioned one in every of the largest issues proper now was to get the folks from their properties or secure homes to the airport to fly them out.   

And two German navy transport planes that have been on the method to Kabul to assist with evacuations grew to become at the moment caught in Baku, Azerbaijan, the place they initially stopped to get refueled.

Germany information company dpa reported on Monday afternoon that the A400M planes couldn’t proceed their flight to Kabul as deliberate as a result of they might not land there due to the chaos at the airport in the Afghan capital.

The information company reported that one in every of the planes would strive to proceed its journey to Afghanistan later Monday to be close to the airport when it opens once more for evacuation planes.

All in all, the German Air Force has despatched three planes to Afghanistan to assist with the evacuation of embassy workers and native staff.

Poland’s prime minister says the nation is sending planes to Afghanistan to evacuate translators and different individuals who have helped Poland over the years.

‘Our precedence now could be to guarantee the security of all those that are related to Poland in Afghanistan,’ Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned, including that ‘some these actions should, for apparent causes, stay secret.’

He mentioned that extra planes than needed will be despatched and that Poland will be ready to assist different allies evacuate folks as properly.

He mentioned Poland would do its greatest to ‘everybody who has helped Poland over the years, whether or not as a translator or in every other type of help’ as humanely as doable.

Japan’s high diplomat has urged all events in Afghanistan to work on restoring safety and order in the nation after the Taliban seized energy there.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi spoke on Monday at a joint information convention in Cairo along with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukry.

Motegi additionally referred to as for all involved events in Afghanistan to guarantee the safety of lives and property in the nation. He mentioned he has agreed to cooperate with Egypt, as an influential energy in the Islamic world, to make sure that the newest developments in Afghanistan do not trigger additional unrest.

Some two-dozen human rights specialists working with the United Nations say international locations should not ‘stand on the sidelines’ now that the Taliban – a U.N.-listed terror group – have seized management of Afghanistan.

A sharply worded assertion on Monday demanded motion from the U.N. Security Council. The specialists denounced the Taliban’s ‘relentless marketing campaign’ towards civilians, support employees and journalists which have included assassinations, unlawful restrictions on the rights of girls and ladies, and ‘mass executions of civilians.’

‘It is unacceptable for states to stand on the sidelines when a United Nations Security Council listed terrorist group overruns the territory of Afghanistan and engages in acts which will quantity to warfare crimes and crimes towards humanity,’ the specialists mentioned in a joint assertion that drew an unusually giant variety of signatures.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that all embassy personnel had been transferred to Kabul airport, but it remained unclear on Monday how many had been successfully extracted from the country

A U.S. State Department spokesperson mentioned that each one embassy personnel had been transferred to Kabul airport, however it remained unclear on Monday what number of had been efficiently extracted from the nation

People climb a barbed wire wall to enter the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday. U.S. troops have taken over air-traffic control functions at the airport and halted civilian flights

People climb a barbed wire wall to enter the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday. U.S. troops have taken over air-traffic management capabilities at the airport and halted civilian flights

Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac at the airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto the American military jet as it took off and plunged to death

Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac at the airport, some so determined to escape the Taliban seize of their nation that they held onto the American navy jet because it took off and plunged to demise

Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul on Monday. Several people were killed as they tried to cling to the plane as it took off

Hundreds of individuals run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport airplane because it strikes down a runway of the worldwide airport, in Kabul on Monday. Several folks have been killed as they tried to cling to the airplane because it took off

Thousands signal petition to rescue British Council-backed educators

More than 85,000 folks have now signed a Change.org petition to rescue British Council-backed educators who concern Taliban persecution.

The British Council, the UK’s cultural outreach organisation first established in Kabul in 1964, employs dozens of Afghans, together with educators, who’ve ‘promoted British values reminiscent of democracy, justice, and training for all kids, together with ladies’, the petition reads.

It goes on: ‘To the Taliban, they’re one and the identical as the British Embassy or armed service personnel.

‘British Council educators have usually labored in hard-to-reach, distant areas at nice private threat. They have been at the forefront of efforts to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan. As such, they’re identified to the Taliban and their allies as spies and collaborators with Western ”infidels”. Despite this, they’ve labored fearlessly for a peaceable and higher future.’

The withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan has left them and their households ‘in nice peril’, the petition says, revealing that one educator, who’s at the moment in hiding in a regional capital metropolis underneath Taliban occupation, mentioned final week that his work means he’s ‘perceived as selling Christianity in faculties’.

He provides: ‘Many folks additionally see me as a British spy. The mullah in our native mosque preaches that anybody supporting the British Council and instructing its language is an infidel, and he refers to me personally as proof. I humbly urge the British authorities to grant me and my household asylum to relocate to the United Kingdom and reside peacefully.’

The petition calls for that the educators are at the moment on Taliban ‘demise lists’ and are in hiding.

It urges Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to ‘save these courageous educators earlier than it’s too late’.

They cited unspecified reviews from 16 provinces in Afghanistan which have proven ladies and ladies have confronted rights violations together with the requirement to put on full-body burqas, pressured marriage, ban on employment and limits to freedom of motion and well being care. The specialists alluded to related restrictions when the Taliban final held energy earlier than being toppled by a U.S.-led coalition twenty years in the past.

The specialists referred to as on the Security Council – which was holding a particular session on Afghanistan on Monday – to be ‘unequivocal in motion.’

‘The folks of Afghanistan deserve higher than to endure the silence and by-standing of the member states of the United Nations at this perilous second,’ they wrote. ‘We can’t stand idly by as the lives of the Afghan persons are handled with contempt, derision, and weariness.’

The specialists additionally demanded accountability for what they mentioned have been the deaths of 1,000 civilians who have been killed ‘final month alone.’ 

A Hungarian official on Monday criticized the pullout of American-led forces from Afghanistan and mentioned Hungary will not absorb refugees fleeing the nation after its takeover by the Taliban.

Levente Magyar, a state secretary with Hungary’s overseas ministry, instructed state information company MTI that the authorities wouldn’t make Hungarians pay for the ‘flawed geopolitical determination’ of the U.S. navy withdrawal by accepting refugees ‘with none sort of restrictions.’

Hungary’s right-wing authorities is a staunch opponent of immigration, and in 2015 constructed a fence alongside its southern border in response to an inflow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

That fence would be used to deter a possible wave of refugees from Afghanistan, Magyar mentioned, including that the authorities is assessing the way it can assist these Afghans who’ve labored as interpreters or in different capacities for Hungarian troops.

The head of the U.N. refugee company says its current interplay with the Taliban – Afghanistan’s new rulers – has been ‘comparatively constructive’ and that humanitarian support groups will keep in the nation to assist folks in need after the Kabul authorities was toppled.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, mentioned UNHCR discussions with the Taliban ‘might at occasions be tough.’

In an interview at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Grandi mentioned the company would proceed to press for respect of the rights of girls and ladies, who had confronted strict guidelines and bans on college training, for instance, when the Taliban beforehand ran the nation – earlier than a U.S.-led worldwide coalition drove them from energy in 2001.

Grandi famous that the majority of the displacement in current weeks has been inside Afghanistan, however appealed to different international locations to preserve their borders open and absorb any refugees who may flee in the future. He mentioned a half-million folks have been internally displaced this 12 months, the ‘overwhelming majority’ of which in the previous few weeks alone.

Thousands of Afghans swarmed the runways at Hamid Karzai International Airport, which is now surrounded by the Taliban

Thousands of Afghans swarmed the runways at Hamid Karzai International Airport, which is now surrounded by the Taliban

Hug crowds gathered near the airport's perimeter to try to find a way in, but the gates are now guarded by the Taliban

Hug crowds gathered close to the airport’s perimeter to strive to discover a method in, however the gates at the moment are guarded by the Taliban

He mentioned that whereas UNHCR and companions have been beforehand in touch with Taliban leaders in rural areas earlier than its forces swept into cities in current weeks. Most of the current interplay has been on points like safety and security of the websites of UNHCR and companions

The United Nations chief is asking for an instantaneous finish to violence in Afghanistan and urging the worldwide group to unite to make sure that the human rights of all folks, particularly ladies and ladies, are revered.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to the U.N. Security Council at an emergency assembly on Monday ‘and the worldwide group as a complete to stand collectively, work collectively and act collectively.’

He mentioned he’s ‘significantly involved by accounts of mounting human rights violations towards the ladies and ladies of Afghanistan who concern a return to the darkest days’ in the Nineties when the Taliban dominated and barred ladies for getting an training and imposed draconian measures on ladies.

 HAMAS WELCOMES ‘DEFEAT OF AMERICAN OCCUPATION’ IN AFGHANISTAN 

The Islamic militant group Hamas has congratulated the Taliban for his or her swift takeover of Afghanistan and the finish to the United States’ 20-year presence in the nation.

In an announcement on Monday, Hamas welcomed ‘the defeat of the American occupation on all Afghan land’ and praised what it mentioned was the Taliban’s ‘brave management on this victory, which was the end result of its long wrestle over the previous 20 years.’

Hamas, a Palestinian group that opposes Israel’s existence, has ruled the Gaza Strip since taking up the space in 2007, a 12 months after it received a Palestinian election. Hamas is taken into account a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union.

It wished the folks of Afghanistan future success and mentioned the ouster of the American troops proves ‘that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian folks, is due for victory.’

Guterres mentioned ‘the world is following occasions in Afghanistan with a heavy coronary heart and deep disquiet about what lies forward’ and with the nation’s future and the hopes and goals of a technology of younger Afghans in the stability, the coming days ‘will be pivotal.’

At this ‘grave hour,’ the secretary-general urged all events, particularly the Taliban, ‘to train utmost restraint to defend lives and to make sure that humanitarian wants can be met.’

Guterres mentioned the U.N continues to have workers and places of work in areas now underneath Taliban management, and which to date have been revered. ‘Above all, we will keep and ship in assist of the Afghan folks of their hour of need.’

‘We can’t and should not abandon the folks of Afghanistan,’ he mentioned.

The Russian embassy in Kabul alleged Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fled from Kabul with 4 automobiles and a helicopter full of money, Russia’s state information company RIA Novosti reported.

The report quoted embassy spokesman Nikita Ishchenko as saying that ‘the collapse of the regime … is most eloquently characterised by how Ghani escaped from Afghanistan: 4 automobiles have been stuffed with cash, they tried to shove one other a part of the cash right into a helicopter, however not all the pieces match. And a few of the cash was left mendacity on the tarmac.’

Ghani left Kabul on Sunday as the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital. Media reviews steered that the president went to the neighboring Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, however there was no official affirmation of his whereabouts.

Kremlin envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov on Monday described Ghani’s flight from Kabul as ‘disgraceful,’ including that Ghani ‘deserves to be introduced to justice and held accountable by the Afghan folks.’    

India’s Foreign Ministry has mentioned the suspension of economic operations at the Kabul airport has pressured the Indian authorities to pause its repatriation efforts however the course of would restart as soon as the flights are resumed.

In an announcement on Monday, the ministry mentioned it’s in contact with some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who want to return to the nation and that it has been issuing periodic advisories for his or her security and safety.

The ministry mentioned it’s in ‘fixed contact with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities’ and it will facilitate repatriation to India of those that want to go away Afghanistan.

‘There are additionally a lot of Afghans who’ve been our companions in the promotion of our mutual developmental, academic and folks to folks endeavors. We will stand by them,’ the assertion mentioned.

The ministry mentioned the Indian authorities is monitoring the quickly creating state of affairs ‘on a relentless foundation at excessive ranges’ and that it will ‘guarantee the security and safety of Indian nationals and our pursuits in Afghanistan.’ 

The Dutch protection minister says a Dutch navy plane is en route to Afghanistan to evacuate embassy workers, their households and Afghan translators who labored with the Netherlands. Ank Bijleveld says in a tweet on Monday that extra flights are deliberate ‘partially due to the unsure state of affairs.’    

The Baltic nation of Lithuania is attempting to evacuate 30 Afghan interpreters who helped the nation’s troops throughout peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, an official mentioned Monday.

‘The prospects for transporting them are lowering quick,’ deputy minister Margiris Abukevicius instructed reporters. Lithuania estimates that when the relations are included, the determine is of 100 folks.

The Baltic nation depends upon different nations, he mentioned. ‘The solely choice is one in every of companions’ navy transport as Lithuania at the moment has no troops or different personnel of Afghanistan soil’ he added.

Vilnius mainly had troops in the southern Ghor province. The Baltic nation joined the multinational operation in Afghanistan in 2002  

ROME – An Italian navy flight carrying 70 embassy workers, Afghan staff and Italian nationals has landed at Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport.

All have been present process COVID assessments earlier than being allowed to go away the airport after the in a single day flight from Kabul.

Francesca Mannocchi, an Italian journalist who was amongst these evacuated, mentioned 20 have been Afghan staff and their households, together with ladies and kids, who’ve been evacuated for his or her security.

The airlifts come as hundreds packed into the Kabul airport on Monday, dashing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in determined makes an attempt to flee the nation after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed authorities. U.S. troops fired warning pictures as they struggled to handle the chaotic evacuation.

NATO envoys to meet on Tuesday amid Taliban disaster in Afghanistan 

NATO envoys are set to meet Tuesday to focus on safety developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized management of the strife-torn nation over the weekend.

The 30-nation navy group mentioned Monday that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who will chair Tuesday morning’s assembly of ambassadors, will maintain a information convention after it, at 1300 GMT.

NATO took cost of worldwide safety operations in Afghanistan in 2003 – its first main mission exterior Europe and North America – aiming to assist stabilize the authorities, construct up native safety forces and take away a possible rear-base for terrorist teams.

The U.S.-led navy alliance wound down fight operations in 2014 to deal with coaching Afghan safety forces however the Afghan armed forces withered earlier than the rebel offensive.

The Taliban have been emboldened by the Biden administration’s determination to withdraw U.S. troops and wind up the NATO coaching mission in Afghanistan. The mission numbered about 10,000 personnel a 12 months in the past. An official mentioned Sunday that ‘there aren’t any troops underneath NATO command in Afghanistan at the moment.’ NATO additionally has a small diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. An official mentioned Sunday that the navy group continues to ‘keep our diplomatic presence in Kabul.’

Doctors Without Borders says its operations throughout Afghanistan haven’t been affected by the current developments in Kabul.

While many foreigners have fled the nation, the group – identified by its French initials, MSF – continues to have some worldwide workers on the floor. It additionally has greater than 2,300 Afghan colleagues unfold out throughout 5 Taliban-held provinces: Kandahar, Herat, Kunduz, Khost and Helmand.

Filipe Ribeiro, MSF’s nation consultant in Afghanistan, instructed The Associated Press that the group’s feminine medical practitioners in these provinces have resumed work and have been already veiled or in the sky-blue burqas earlier than the Taliban takeover, in keeping with native norms and customs.

‘We don’t face any impediments with regards to feminine workers coming to work,’ he mentioned, referring to MSF-run initiatives in these provinces.

As the Taliban pushed to takeover Helmand and Kunduz, MSF workers tended to giant numbers of individuals wounded in the preventing, he mentioned.

Speaking from his base in Kabul, Ribeiro mentioned the capital’s streets have been quiet and calm on Monday, regardless of scenes of chaos unfolding at the airport.

The group halted its principal operation in Kabul after May 2020 following an assault on a maternity ward that was blamed on the Islamic State group.

Ribeiro mentioned the focus stays on supporting Afghanistan’s welfare.

‘We have to take note the well being system was already dysfunctional beforehand, and these days it is essential to preserve supporting the Afghan inhabitants and to assure that the medical providers will proceed,’ he mentioned.  

Australia is sending three transport and air-to-air refueling jets with 250 navy personnel to repatriate greater than 130 Australians and their households from Afghanistan, officers mentioned on Monday.

Australia can also be working to evacuate an undisclosed variety of refugees, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned in an announcement.

The assist comes as the U.S. and different nations scramble to evacuate diplomats and Afghan staff and their households from Kabul. The Taliban a day earlier toppled the Western-backed authorities.

An Airbus A330 airliner modified for aerial refueling would assist U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan later this week, Australia’s Defense Department mentioned in an announcement. Two C-17A Globemaster heavy transport plane would additionally be despatched to the Middle East, the assertion mentioned.

Australia shut its Kabul embassy in May and withdrew the final of its troops from Afghanistan in June.

More than 39,000 Australian navy personnel have served in Afghanistan since 2001, and 41 died there.

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