The US government has promised to use every hour left to help as many people as possible escape from Afghanistan before US troops withdraw.
The US may extend the Kabul airlift beyond the deadline of August 31st if the evacuation is not complete, despite Taliban threats and the US Secretary of State made a statement that the US will still work on helping people leave even after the deadline date. The US states they are still looking at detailed plans to facilitate departure for the people who want to leave, though it is not clear what type of American diplomatic presence will remain in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have declared that they will permit a safe departure for those leaving the country with their legal documents, however, there are reports that Afghans with legal documents are struggling to reach the airport.
Over 80, 0000 people in total, have been evacuated from Afghanistan by international forces. Out of them, more than 10,000 have been airlifted from Kabul by UK forces since August 13th including more than 6000 Afghans and their families.
Desperate crowds wade through filthy sewage in desperate attempts to escape while massive crowds flock to Kabul airport under the watch of American and British soldiers in the midst of dirt, chaos, and gunshots, crowds flock to the airport in thousands.
Nearby, makeshift camps are made as many do not have permission to board evacuation flights while the few that have permission tussle to board flights.
An Afghani woman told BBC News, “We’ve been waiting here six days and six nights, the American Embassy told us to come here, but we can’t get past all these crazy people.”
The reporter asked her, “Is it worth it? Isn’t it better to just stay here in Afghanistan for the moment?”
The Afghan woman replied, “There’s no way we can stay here, the Americans should either shoot us or let us through.”
The Taliban, however, are not in favor of Afghans leaving the country. However, there is a sense of panic among Afghans as time is running out with the deadline date drawing near and many are petrified they will be left behind, such as former Afghan British interpreter who is yet to receive acceptance for his application to leave.
The Afghan interpreter told the BCC News reporter Secunder Kermani, without revealing his face, “It’s very dangerous for us, since the Taliban entered, I’ve changed my home three times and we live in one place for two days or two nights.”
The UK government stated that no one’s life should be put at risk because of their support for the UK’s efforts in Afghanistan and assured they are working around the clock to relocate as many eligible Afghans as possible.
However, it is clear that many who want to leave will be left behind, but there is intense fear from most of the Afghans because no one is clear what the Taliban will do once they start complete takeover. The situation remains precarious and highly sensitive.