German and American citizens are urged not to go to Kabul airport

German and American citizens are urged not to go to Kabul airport

Germany and the United States on Saturday called on their citizens stranded in Afghanistan to stay away from the Kabul airport through which thousands are currently trying to flee the country falling into the hands of the radical Islamist Taliban movement.

Kabul fell to the Taliban last Sunday, evacuation through Hamid Karzai airport, which is still in the hands of foreign forces, has created chaos, with at least 12 people killed in the uprising.

Under these circumstances, staying at home or waiting outside in a safe place is safer.” The German Embassy in Kabul wrote to German citizens in the country. He added that anyone trying to reach the airport does so at their own risk. The Embassy of the United States also called on American citizens to Avoid the airport due to security threats unless instructed to do so by the authorities.

Afghans (left) crowd at the airport as US soldiers stand guard in Kabul, August 16, 2021 (Photo by Shakib Rahmani/AFP)Source: Agence France-Presse / Chakib Rahmani

The Afghan Civil Aviation Authority said during the day that the airport would no longer accept civilian and commercial flights.

Those seeking to leave the country now only flee to neighboring countries on military planes, where they are flown on civilian flights. However, due to the increasingly chaotic situation around Kabul airport, they are often unable to fill military planes because many of those who are allowed to board are unable to reach the airport.

Switzerland, for example, postponed its charter flight to Uzbekistan to have people evacuated at its request because few of their nationals arrived at Kabul airport.

Tens of thousands want to enter the airport area, waiting desperately at the ramparts, while Taliban checkpoints in the city can get bogged down by those trying to reach the airport. Incidentally, the Taliban invited those without travel documents to return home. CNN reported that the distribution of refugees and the launching of military evacuation planes are taking place in the airport area in the meantime.

Even in the midst of a difficult situation, everything is being done to evacuate German citizens and Afghan aides, said Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, head of the German Ministry of Defense, at a press conference in Berlin.

To date, German military aircraft have evacuated more than 1,800 people to Tashkent, where they were able to continue their flight to Germany with civilian aircraft.

Two German army helicopters arrived in Kabul on Saturday to help evacuate people from the city. German forces could only evacuate people who had arrived at the airport, but this too was beginning to become increasingly dangerous and difficult. The situation is well illustrated by the fact that several planes were forced to take off with a small number of passengers.

The United States ordered two small helicopters H-145M from German special forces. General Eberhard Zorn, commander-in-chief of the German Army, said US forces largely had larger helicopters, but that smaller aircraft were needed in urban environments, and said they would save people from where they were able to assemble themselves.

This is a real air operation, not a taxi service Zorn underline. As he said, the planes are designed to land in densely built areas.

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