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Home » UK’s Johnson defends Kabul airlift as criticism grows

UK’s Johnson defends Kabul airlift as criticism grows

LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended Britain’s airlift out of Kabul on Sunday and praised the troops for his or her mission after criticism grew that the federal government had been “asleep on watch” in Afghanistan.



Photo issued on Saturday Aug. 28, 2021 by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) showing UK military personnel onboard a A400M aircraft departing Kabul, Afghanistan. Britain ended its evacuation flights Saturday, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “shift heaven and earth” to get more of those at risk from the Taliban to Britain by other means. Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said in a video from Kabul airport and posted on Twitter that it was “time to close this phase of the operation now.” (Jonathan Gifford/MoD via AP)


© ASSOCIATED PRESS
Picture issued on Saturday Aug. 28, 2021 by Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) displaying UK army personnel onboard a A400M plane departing Kabul, Afghanistan. Britain ended its evacuation flights Saturday, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “shift heaven and earth” to get extra of these in danger from the Taliban to Britain by different means. Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, stated in a video from Kabul airport and posted on Twitter that it was “time to shut this part of the operation now.” (Jonathan Gifford/MoD by way of AP)

Britain’s final army flight left Kabul late on Saturday, ending a chaotic two weeks wherein troopers helped to evacuate greater than 15,000 individuals from the crowds who descended on the capital’s airport, determined to flee the Taliban.

Johnson stated Britain wouldn’t have wished to depart Afghanistan on this method following its close to 20-year presence there, however he stated the armed forces needs to be happy with their achievements none the much less.

“I thank everybody concerned, and I consider they are often very happy with what they’ve carried out,” he stated in a video on-line.

Richard Dannatt, former chief of employees of the British military, stated the federal government now wanted an inquiry to determine why it was so ill-prepared for the fast fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

“It’s unfathomable why it could seem that the federal government was asleep on watch,” he advised Occasions Radio. “We have had this chaotic extraction, we must always have carried out higher, we may have carried out higher.”

Britain’s protection minister, Ben Wallace, has stated round 1,000 individuals who have been eligible to come back to Britain, together with former employees to the British, have been unlikely to get out.



FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves following a visit at Northwood Headquarters, the British Armed Forces Permanent Joint Headquarters, in Eastbury, northwest of London, Britain August 26, 2021.  Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS


© Thomson Reuters
FILE – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves following a go to at Northwood Headquarters, the British Armed Forces Everlasting Joint Headquarters, in Eastbury, northwest of London, Britain August 26, 2021. Adrian Dennis/Pool by way of REUTERS

Lisa Nandy, the opposition Labour spokeswoman for the international workplace, stated ministers appeared to have been fully unprepared for the pace of occasions and it was not clear how Afghans may now get to Britain after the airlift had ended.

“It truly is an unparalleled second of disgrace for this authorities, that we have allowed it to come back to this,” she advised Sky Information.

Johnson stated troops and UK officers had labored across the clock and in harrowing circumstances to finish a mission “not like something we have seen in our lifetimes.”

Chatting with the 150,000 women and men who accomplished a tour of Afghanistan, and the households of the 457 who died there, Johnson stated that they had succeeded in protecting Britain secure and in bettering the livelihoods for locals there.

“It’s on the darkest and most tough moments that the Armed Forces of this nation have at all times carried out their biggest and most astonishing feats,” he stated of the ultimate departure.

One flight carrying troops and London’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, landed again in Britain on Sunday morning and additional flights are anticipated later within the day.

(Reporting by Kate Holton Modifying by Raissa Kasolowsky)