The Government sends two A400M military aircraft to Dubai to, once there, make the jump to the Afghan capital when authorized by the US command
Not even the US intelligence services had expected the Taliban army to seize control of Kabul so quickly. The Foreign Ministry had relied on the evacuation plan of its diplomatic delegation in Afghanistan to these reports, which turned out to be too optimistic (they gave 30 to 90 days for the collapse of the country). In addition, the chaos produced by the panic of reprisals has rendered useless during all this Monday several runways of the international airport of the capital, plagued by hundreds of people who tried to flee even clinging to the landing gear of some planes. The situation has become so desperate that several Western countries, including Spain, have accelerated the rescue operation.
The Government decided to send two Air Force A400M aircraft from the Zaragoza Air Base to Dubai. The first of which took off shortly before midnight this Monday. The second is scheduled to depart at 9:00 am on Tuesday. Teams from the Civil-Military Cooperation Battalion (CIMIC) of the Land Army and the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) of the Air Force have embarked on the first aircraft at around 11:25 pm. The Arab country will serve as the base of operations to make the jump to Kabul when the green light is received from the US authorities, responsible for airport security.
The diplomatic and security personnel accompanying them (a dozen GEO agents from the National Police) have been waiting at its facilities since Sunday, ready for boarding. A total of 25 people who were transferred “urgently” two days ago from the Embassy by helicopter to the airport and hours later, in the face of the Taliban advance, were relocated to a “security zone”. Several of the Afghan citizens who have served as translators or collaborators with the Spanish Army during its mission in Afghanistan (between 2002 and May 2021) have also approached the compound, with great difficulty due to the collapse of traffic.
“They are going to cut our throats”
Many of them came with their families, such as Fawat, a translator for the troops for 15 years who waits in hiding in a house 500 meters from the airport with his wife and three daughters. “We are afraid for having been working side by side with the Spanish Army. They consider me a traitor, if they catch me they will cut my throat. Our life is in danger, “he declared this Monday to La Sexta.
The government had promised not to leave them at the mercy of the Taliban and calculated to evacuate a contingent of between 500 and 600 people, but bureaucratic obstacles, such as case-by-case identification, made it difficult for many of them to react in time. “The objective is for all of them to return,” Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska promised in the morning.
For his part, the head of Spanish diplomacy, José Manuel Albares, had telephone contacts in the afternoon with the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and with the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell. In both cases, they agreed on their “concern” about the serious humanitarian situation faced by the Afghan civilian population, with special emphasis on the case of women and girls.