The U.S. Pentagon formally asked commercial airlines for help to relocate evacuees from Afghanistan once they have left the country that came under Taliban control.
The information was confirmed by the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, who reported that the initial stage of the program was activated this Sunday Civil Reserve Air Fleet, and before the emergency, 18 aircraft were requested from the companies.
The airlines that are included in the protocol are United Airlines, which at this stage will provide four planes; American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Airlines and Omni Air, with three ships each; and two aircraft of Hawaiian Airlines.
John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary reported on the request to commercial airlines. Photo: DPA
The Pentagon press secretary, John kirby He added that the department does not foresee a significant impact on commercial flights due to this activation.
According to Kirby, the planes arranged by the Pentagon they won’t fly to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul; Rather, they will be used to transfer passengers from way stations once they leave the Afghan capital.
This allow the US military to focus on evacuations in Afghanistan.
“Without being far-sighted here, we have troops in a very dynamic environment, a very dangerous mission, and they understand that – and they also understand why they are there, they are there to help people, “Kirby admitted in statements in a press round.
The Pentagon’s confirmation of the new program that began this Sunday happens at the same time that thousands of people try to reach the Afghan air terminal to escape the Taliban.
Thousands of Afghans are struggling to leave Kabul in the face of the Taliban advance. Photo: EFE
According to information provided by the Pentagon, only 2,500 of the 10,000 to 15,000 Americans estimated to remain in Afghanistan have been evacuated since the rescue operation began on August 14.
Total, some 17,000 people were removed from the country in that period of time, they said.
Meanwhile, in recent hours, the pace of military-sponsored exits seems to have slowed: from approximately 2,000 evacuations a day in recent days to 1,600.
Military officials said the drop in pace It was due to an excess of evacuees at the Qatar Air Base, because they had to be transferred to other places – including Ramstein Air Base, in Germany – to make room for new arrivals.
It was also noted that three evacuee planes had landed at Dulles International Airport, outside of Washington.
Between Friday and Saturday another 2,200 people fled Afghanistan on 32 charter flights, officials said.
With information from AP