The first flight carrying Afghan evacuees arrived at the United States Ramstein Air Base in Germany. It is one of the largest airlift operations in history, part of a chaotic journey to airlift Americans and Afghans out of Afghanistan following the Taliban militant’s takeover of Kabul. Ramstein is one of the largest American airbases outside America but now shifted into a temporary transit point for evacuees to the United States.
On Friday, the United States President Joe Biden stated that the country is undertaking one of the most difficult and largest airlifts in history, admitting that regardless of thousands of American troops at Kabul airport, the situation remains risky dangerous for them. Biden on Saturday tweeted that the U.S. has around 6000 of the country’s finest fighting at the Kabul airport. As a result, U.S. troops are putting their lives at risk in a dangerous place.
We have almost 6,000 of America’s finest fighting at the Kabul airport.
They are putting their lives on the line in a dangerous place.
I talk to our commander there every day and I have made it clear: we will get them whatever they need to do the job.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 20, 2021
Which are other countries contributing to evacuate people from Afghanistan?
American military hopes to evacuate five thousand to nine thousand evacuees every day, but that was unable to meet the goal until now. On 21st August, there were hours-long delays at the Kabul airport as destinations receiving Afghan people backed up. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Italy also contributed to evacuate hundreds of Afghans and their nationals out of Afghanistan.
At Ramstein Air Base, Germany, evacuees will stay approximately forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Brigadier General Josh Olson told CNN on Saturday that they wouldn’t stay more than ten as per the United States pact with Germany days. Within ten minutes of the enormous C-17 Globemaster aircraft landing in Ramstein on Saturday afternoon, passengers landed onto bases headed to the welcome center of the base.
An Imam is the first person to greet evacuees as they left the bus and a world away from the chaos and violence of Hamid Karzai airport. These are Afghan women in loose headscarves, traditional dress. Furthermore, there are instant security checks of bags, and security officials handed out snacks and water and checked the evacuees for coronavirus.
Temporary Home for Evacuees
At U.S. Ramstein Air Base, Germany, there is a capacity for five thousand people. However, with flights arriving every ninety minutes, it’s filling up swiftly – and five thousand evacuees already arrived by Sunday, according to Senior Master Sergeant Stacia Zachary. Since Saturday, seventeen flights arrived, and another around fourteen arrived Sunday. In addition, the team builds additional facilities in a type of tent city that will house another twenty-five hundred evacuees.
Unstable Situation at Kabul Airport
Lawmakers and non-governmental groups have been doing their best to pull people out of Afghanistan, finding some success but also face some difficulties. Chaos and Taliban checkpoints at the gates outside the Kabul airport stopped several people from getting inside the facility. However, according to a tweet from the Taliban, the co-founder of the Taliban movement, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, reached Kabul from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. Baradar leg dialogs in Doha from the Taliban side and reached Afghanistan last week for the first time in twenty years.
The United States Embassy in Kabul circulated a security alert on Saturday, which stated that the American nationals shouldn’t come to Kabul Airport unless under the instruction of the U.S. government. On Saturday, a source having knowledge of the situation said that the number of people at the Hamid Karzai Airport is now fourteen thousand. Moreover, the source said that the officials resumed flights again to Europe, Qatar, and Hungary. Further, it added that Kuwait agreed to accept special immigrant visa applicants.
Over the last day, the United States military evacuated almost thirty-eight hundred people on six C-17 aircraft and thirty-two charter aircraft from Kabul airport, Deputy Director of the Joint Staff for Regional Operations, General Hank Taylor said on Saturday. Since July end, the officials evacuated twenty-two thousand people, seventeen thousand of those evacuated over the past week since 14th August. According to Taylor, of those seventeen thousand, twenty-five hundred are American citizens.