Chaos Persists at Kabul Airport as Taliban Discuss New Government

In an effort to hurry the evacuation, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III ordered six industrial airways to supply passenger jets to assist with the rising U.S. navy operation evacuating Americans and Afghan allies from Kabul, the Afghan capital, the Pentagon mentioned on Sunday.

Mr. Austin activated Stage 1 of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, created in 1952 after the Berlin airlift, to supply airliners to assist ferry passengers arriving at bases within the Middle East from Afghanistan, John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

The present activation is for 18 planes: 4 from United Airlines; three every from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; and two from Hawaiian Airlines. The civilian planes won’t fly into or out of Kabul, the place a quickly deteriorating safety scenario has hampered evacuation flights.

At Kabul airport, the presence of Taliban fighters across the perimeter mingling with British and different Western forces created an impression “like a very strange dream,” Ms. Ferguson mentioned. It underscored how, in a second, with scarcely a shot fired, Afghanistan was misplaced, the Taliban entered Kabul and the white flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was hoisted.

Still, resistance stays among the many Afghan leaders who’ve taken refuge within the Panjshir Valley, a rugged gorge the place Afghan fighters resisted the Taliban for years throughout Afghanistan’s civil battle within the 1990s. Former Afghan officers put the variety of fighters holed up at the moment within the Panjshir at 2,000 to 2,500 males, however they’re remoted and lack logistical assist.

A former first vice chairman, Amrullah Saleh, who relies there, now claims to be the “caretaker president” beneath Afghanistan’s U.S.-brokered Constitution of 2004, as a result of President Ghani has fled the nation. The Panjshiris have mentioned they intend to withstand a takeover of the valley until the Taliban comply with an inclusive authorities.

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