The air base in Qatar that is being used by the US government to house thousands of Afghans who have been displaced from Kabul is in poor sanitary conditions, reveals an e-mail from a US Central Command official, who was leaked and obtained by the Axios website.
The email was sent by Colin Sullivan, a special oversight agent, with the subject “Terrible conditions in Doha” to US State Department and Pentagon officials. The report demonstrates the difficulty the US government faces in dealing with the withdrawal of thousands of civilians from Afghanistan after the Taliban take over Kabul.
The communication describes a “life-threatening humanitarian disaster… which I want to make sure you are fully monitoring.”
“By no means underestimating the conditions in Kabul or the conditions from which Afghans are escaping, the current conditions in Doha are our own responsibility,” says the supervisor.
US President Joe Biden has faced criticism for failing to secure safe passage to Kabul airport or arrange flights for all the thousands of Afghans who are targeted by the Taliban and want to leave the country.
In his e-mail, Sullivan shared snippets of communications among US embassy personnel in Doha that describe conditions at Al Udeid Air Base, also in the capital region of Qatar, and show their unpreparedness to receive Afghans in a safe and secure environment. wholesome:
“Wet day today. The place where the Afghans are sheltering is hell on Earth. Garbage, urine, feces, spilled liquids and vomit cover the floor.” “I spent an hour there collecting garbage…I almost suffocated.” “Another flight has arrived and there are no resources to solve the health problem.” “These humans are in a living nightmare.” “Hangar Update: Now We Have a Rat Problem.”
The military base is in the middle of the desert and the heat in the place, which has no air conditioning, is intense.
A spokesman for the US Central Command spoke to Axios about the challenge of reaching out to individuals who are arriving and who have already made progress in caring for the Afghans.
“We recognize that this is a challenging and difficult situation for these vulnerable individuals and families, and we remain committed to providing a safe and sanitary environment,” said spokesperson William Urban.
The Pentagon told Axios that it has taken concrete steps to improve the shelter’s conditions, including installing more than 100 toilets and distributing 7,000 traditional Afghan meals three times a day.
A US State Department spokesman told the news website that more than 3,700 people were transported to destinations in the US, Germany and Italy, and that the aim is to get people to their destinations within days of arriving at the base.
The Washington Post published a video from inside the hangar at the American military base in Doha on the weekend, it shows the place crowded, hot and without the proper amount of toilets and showers.
On Monday (23) alone, more than 21,000 people were evacuated from Kabul, in about 100 planes from the United States and other countries in the coalition that fought in the war in Afghanistan, according to information from the White House.
Of these, about 12,700 people flew aboard 37 US military flights, and another 8,900 were flown by 57 planes from European countries and NATO members.
With these new shipments, the number of people evacuated from Afghanistan with American help since the last 14th has reached 58,700.