Security

US enlists private airlines to speed up evacuation of Americans, Afghan allies

By Salaam Times and AFP

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A US Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit provides fresh water to a child during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 20. [US Marine Corps]

WASHINGTON -- The United States on Sunday (August 22) enlisted several major airlines in its evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and other foreigners from Kabul.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin activated the rarely used Civil Reserve Air Fleet to aid the onward movement of those arriving at US bases in the Middle East, the Pentagon said.

"We're going to try our very best to get everybody, every American citizen who wants to get out, out," Austin said in an American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) interview on the evacuation mission, adding that the same applied to America's Afghan allies.

A number of civilian craft -- from American Airlines, Atlas, Delta, Omni, Hawaiian and United -- will aid the military cargo transports involved in the evacuation, the statement said.

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US Army soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division stand security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, August 15. [US Marine Corps]

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US Marines assigned to 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit escorts evacuees at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 18. [US Marine Corps]

The airliners will not fly in and out of Kabul but rather will transport evacuees from US bases abroad to Europe and the United States.

US President Joe Biden has set an August 31 deadline for the airlift organised by thousands of temporarily deployed US troops but has left the door open to an extension if needed.

Austin did not rule out asking Biden to extend the deadline.

"We're going to continue to assess the situation. And again, work as hard as we can to get as many people out as possible. And as we approach that deadline, we'll make a recommendation to the president," he told ABC.

"In terms of what we'll be able to accomplish going forward... we can't place a specific figure on exactly what we'll be able to do, but I'll just tell you that we're going to try to exceed expectations, and do as much as we can, and take care of as many people as we can, for as long as we can," Austin said.

'A dangerous operation'

Speaking in the White House Sunday, Biden said his "hope is we will not have to extend".

"We'll see what we can do," he added when asked by reporters what his reply was to foreign leaders asking for more time.

Britain Monday said it would urge the United States to extend an end-of-the-month deadline for evacuations from Afghanistan.

"We have a long way to go and a lot could still go wrong," Biden said, citing the threat of attacks by the Khorasan branch of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS-K) in particular.

"We know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation," he said, underlining why US officials are keen to complete the mission as soon as possible. "It's still a dangerous operation."

When asked in an interview last Wednesday if US troops would stay until every American who wants to be has been evacuated, Biden replied: "Yes."

"Americans should understand that we're going to try to get it done before August 31," he told ABC, adding, "If there's American citizens left, we're gonna stay to get them all out."

The administration is still working on removing Americans and others who need to leave Afghanistan.

'Fast as we can'

"What we're focused on is getting as many people out as fast as we can, as effectively and as safely as we can," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Sunday.

"It's also important to note the Taliban has said that it intends to keep the airport open," he said.

"It wants a functioning airport, and it has made commitments about the safe passage of people with no deadline attached to that. And we will hold the Taliban to that commitment."

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چون که ما از اقلیت های قومی و مذهبی که کمترین طیقه مذهبی وقومی را در افغانستان تشکیل میدهیم (شیعه اسماعیله) ازین سبب نمیتوانیم در میان سایر مذاهب مراسم مذهبی خویش را انجام دهیم وهمیشه مورد توهین وتحقیر تعدادی از سایر اقوام ومذاهبی قرار میگیریم واز سوی هم از طرف تعداد زیادی افراد تحریک طالبان سبب توهین وتحقر وتوعین شده حتی سبب مرگ زیادی از همکیشان تا حال شده ایم بنابرین خواهشمندیم که ضمینه نجات ما را فرهم سازید. Because we are one of the ethnic and religious minorities that constitute the lowest religious and ethnic sect in Afghanistan (Shia Ismailis), we can not perform our religious ceremonies among other religions and we are always insulted and humiliated by a number of other ethnic and religions groups. We have been insulted, humiliated and appointed by a large number of Taliban movement's insurgents, and we have even caused many deaths of our comrades so far, so please provide us with the guarantee of our salvation.

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its nice policy

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Well, accept our family, too. Because we are at serious risk, and we are being pursued by Taliban. We will present you documents in this regard. Just help us so that we can escape from hiding and living in concealment.

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I and my family are at risk. Please help us.

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We all Afghans are at risk. Also my family is at risk. Please help us so that we go out of this war-torn country and leave here because of external and internal terrorists.

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Hello, please find a way of exit for the remaining Afghans who worked with Americans as soon as possible.

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We have documents which show that we worked with Americans, but we cannot get out of our house because our lives are at risk. Please help us.

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They should help us so that we can get out of the country. They themselves did this. American and Afghan authorities turned our country into a hell for us.

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They should help us so that we get out of the country. They themselves did this. American and Afghan authorities turned our country into a hell for us.

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It is the night of 31st of August and fighting is going on between unknown parties.

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My family faces risk. Please help us.

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For now, I don't have any specific opinion. Thanks

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Very good work, but how can I contact?

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He does right thing. I wish we all Hazaras could go out of the country.

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I am also a former army soldier. My family is facing a threat. I want to go to European countries and have a calm and peaceful life. You can see my documents and the realities.

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My family faces risk; please help us.

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Please help us. You know the situation.

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My family faces risk; please help us.

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My family faces risk. Please help. Please….

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Our lives are at risk; please help us, and I am one of the civil society activists.

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Salaam, please rescue me and my family from Afghanistan, because I showed one Taliban’s guy to the police when Taliban came to Afghanistan newly. Then the police beat the Taliban guy and put him in prison. Now all the Taliban prisoners have been set free, and that Taliban guy is pursuing me everywhere. Please help us.

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They martyred my brother, I don't want to stay in Afghanistan.

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Salaam. I also want to go to America because our life is in danger. Please help me.

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Take us out of Afghanistan and give us refuge in one of the European or American countries. Life has become difficult for all Afghans. We are suffering from poverty, impoverishment and also insecurity.

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I want to go to America with my family, because our lives are at risk. We were two brothers and five sisters. My elder brother has been abducted for the past 12 years. My three sisters became widow. My elder sister was martyred alongside her husband. My two nieces and one nephew, stayed with me. Unfortunately my nephew has hole in his heart. I take care of them, but my life is at risk. Please help us for our orphans, and since Taliban came, my wounds got refreshed. We are a very downtrodden family.

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I want to go to America.

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For the fear and fright of enemies and protection of myself and my family.

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Please take us out of Afghanistan

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It is good. America should take out those whose life is in danger.

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Well, you are correct sir.

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They made the situation as the Afghan nation gets victim and thousands of the Afghan cadres migrate to Europe and America and they were destroyed forever.

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Salaam, it was great, but what should the people do who don’t have documents? Afghanistan will return to twenty years back after America withdraws from Afghanistan. Then the entire nation will face a war.

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Salaam, it was great, but no visa has been issued for the people with disability. We are disabled, but we are not incapable. Disabled people can go to any place of the world, but there is limitation to me in your program. So what should we do?

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What should we do as we are in risk and others are not concerned about us.

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We are in danger.

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I have documents from America, work force and air force of America. I don’t trust Taliban. Take us also from Afghanistan if possible. If you don’t evacuate us, we will have to get out illegally by any possible ways so that my family should be safe.

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Can someone who has not worked go out?

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No.

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Yes, can go out.

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If possible, get us out too. We are members of a minority group.

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I am not going anywhere. This country will not return to its previous time by leaving it. We have to make and shin it by staying here in order that we enlighten the future generations' thinking about the country. The other countries were not built by God, in fact God has given us mind and wisdom, and we have to use it and differentiate between good and bad. We should not let the country to go under the control of others. This is not only my country, this is the country of all of you. Each one of you has responsibility before this country.

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If the Taliban stay, you may wait.

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It has been for twenty years as I served with the national army, but finally despite that, I lost a lot of my fellow soldiers and I accidentally remained a life. Everything dissolved inside a day. All the hopes and wishes that I had for the country were destroyed by the commander in chief, and the army that was made with a lot of expenses was sold by the unknown person Ghani. Currently, I remain jobless and every moment I am waiting that I will be killed like a ram, the residence is rental, there is no salary, and the family and children are facing an unknown future. Neither they took us to America nor to Germany nor to French. We don't know what will happen.

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Please take me too with you because I cannot tolerate here anymore.

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I want to go to America.

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Thanks for your continuous publication.

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It is the best job that they do to help the poor people of Afghanistan. I also want to go to America, because Afghanistan is no longer a place to live in it. It became dangerous and terrible. There is no education right left for the women. Please support us women to go out from here.

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Thanks the United States of America for its cooperation and sympathy towards the vulnerable people of Afghanistan. I also can no longer live in Afghanistan because I don’t have spiritual, life and property safety here. Therefore, please help me. Thanks.

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I want to go to America with my family. Please help.

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Salaam, I want to travel to America with my family.

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Salaam, I worked with Americans for four years. I want to go to America. Help me.

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Salaam, I am an army soldier. Is there any possibility for me to go abroad? I am under threat of Taliban.

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Salaam, I have military documents. Can I send them to you, Sir?

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I worked with ISAF fuel company named NCS, but now I am looking forward to taking my family and children out of the country.

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I also want to go from Afghanistan to America.

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Afghanistan is not safe at all; please help us.

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I also want to go from Afghanistan to America.

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Please help

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Can you give us information.

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Yes, war and adversity have made us tired, but we cannot do anything to get out of Afghanistan. I don’t have money to leave Afghanistan illegally. There is no other place to help me escape from here. There is no bright future to live.

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Salaam and greeting to all friends, I have immigration card or document from the United Nations. Can I go to America with this card? Please respond.

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I want to go to Canada; the situation is critical.

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Very good

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Salaam, I also want to go with my family to America. We have passports. Thanks

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I am 17 years old. I am a student. I am also a good artist.

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I also want to get out of Afghanistan.

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We need to extend this operation to evacuate those people who worked with international troops and organisations

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America should maintain order outside the airport as well. When all European countries, Canada and the United States announced that they accept immigrants, it was clear that people would rush in the hope of going to another country. However, if they announced that only those who held documents could stay and others should leave, this incident and tragedy would not have happened. During these few days, this issue was not announced even once in Kabul airport. Soldiers neither speak nor guide the people; they just shoot. I have all the documents and visa to leave soon, but I can’t leave because of the crowd.

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Thanks for your help. I would like to get out of Afghanistan with my wife as social activists and journalists, and we ask for more help from you.

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Please help us females. I am a civil society activist and my daughter is young.

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Get me out of Kabul, Afghanistan.

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I would like to get out of Afghanistan; please help me.

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I want to leave Afghanistan

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I want to leave Afghanistan.

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Salaam, I also want to go out of Afghanistan, because I was a social activist and my life is in danger.

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Thanks a lot Joe Biden, the President of America. We also ask to leave Afghanistan. Thanks.

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A well-organized system should be taken into account for taking the Afghans out of the country. No Afghan who worked with American forces should be left. Chaos should be decreased. The withdrawal of Afghans should not happen in a disrespectful way.

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I would like to get out of Afghanistan.

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Please help me. I need your help.

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Salaam, I also want to go to America, because I cannot tolerate this much pain. Please help me. Thanks.

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What will happen to the fate of those who worked with contractors and have contact only with their corporations, but they don’t have contact with foreigners?

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Thanks for the news. Was Joe Biden not asked about providing safety to the Afghan journalists?

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I have never visited America, nor do I need to go to America; however, I respect America and Americans because they helped a lot with our country, but unfortunately, our statesmen and especially the former Northern Alliance leaders such as Abdullah, Fahim, Amrullah Saleh, Ustad Sayyaf, Qanooni… and on the Pashtuns' side, Gul Agha Sherzai, Karzai's brothers, Zahir Qadeer, Hazrat Ali, and around 8/10 of the parliament members stole as they shamed themselves and Afghanistan. Americans may indeed have treated Afghans with arrogance. This is a natural property of a human being that whenever one gets wealthy, he treats those on a lower level this way. However, America came to Afghanistan to chase the Arab terrorists, but it still donated hugely in building our country's infrastructure. What was done to America is disappointing to me. America should not have been defeated this way. America should not have been shamed this way…, and the responsibility for all this goes to the Pakistani army and intelligence as from one side they showed agreement to America. On the other side, they hit America at its back and shamed it.

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