Even as Western Allies Pull Out, UK Confirms it Will Continue Kabul Rescue Flights Until 'Last Moment'

Even as Western Allies Pull Out, UK Confirms it Will Continue Kabul Rescue Flights Until 'Last Moment'

While NATO members announce they are ceasing operations in Afghanistan, citing safety concerns, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Britain’s own airlift will continue unchanged despite Thursday afternoon’s bombing at Kabul airport.

Speaking to Comcast’s Sky News after chairing a UK government emergency ‘COBRA’ meeting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the UK’s position on continuing military and evacuation operations at Kabul airport would continue until “the last moment”.

His stance is, consequently, quite at odds with other NATO partners who have announced amid warnings of violence followed by a bombing at the airport that they would be ceasing operations, citing safety concerns. Canada said “We wish we could have stayed longer” Thursday, noting that ” the circumstances on the ground rapidly deteriorated” when they explained their decision to pull out while evacuation operations continued full swing.

Germany, too, ended its operations on Thursday with defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer remarking that the bomb attacks today had triggered her troop’s “emergency departure” mechanism with the final German armed forces personnel leaving Afghan airspace on Thursday afternoon.

Canada has announced an end to helping Joe Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation, saying: "We wish we could have stayed longer and rescued everyone who was so desperate to leave… but the circumstances on the ground rapidly deteriorated" https://t.co/YrS3AcDOAk.

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 26, 2021

The European NATO nations of Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark likewise said they would be ending operations amid warnings of an impending attack on Wednesday night, citing the security situation. Poland already suspended their operations early on the 25th, likewise because of the security situation.

Laying out how the United Kingdom planned to stick it out with the United States until the end of Western operations in Kabul, Johnson explained Thursday evening: “I’ve just chaired COBRA and the conclusion is that we are able to continue with the programme in the way that we have been running it, according to the timetable that we’ve got. And that’s what we’re going to do.

“Because the overwhelming majority of those who are eligible have now been extracted from Afghanistan, and we’ll work flat out — the military, the foreign office teams, the Home Office Border Force teams that are there — getting people through as fast as they can still. And we’re going to keep going up until the last moment.”

Both the Netherlands Denmark’s defense ministries advised their military would no longer be able to assist America in extractions due to the “rapidly deteriorating situation” https://t.co/agJ9YXXfuV

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 26, 2021

Acknowledging the barbarity of the attack and extending his condolences to both the families of the U.S. servicemen believed killed in today’s attack and for the Afghans likewise impacted, Mr Johnson said the UK would press on. He said: “It isn’t going to interrupt our progress, we’re going to get on with this evacuation. Since August 14th, this country has evacuated the equivalent of a town the size of Dorking… a largish UK town and that is a phenomenal achievement.”

While the threat of a terror attack at Kabul airport has been feverishly discussed in public in the past 24 hours, UK PM Johnson said it was something the Westenr allies had factored into their planning for a long time. He said in his remarks: “I want to stress that this threat of a terrorist attack is one of the constraints that we’ve been operating under in Operation Pitting, in the big extraction that has been going on.

“We’ve been ready for it, we’ve been prepared for it, and I want to stress that we’re going to continue with our operation, and we’re now coming towards the very end of it, in any event… what this attack shows is the importance of continuing this work as fast and as efficient a manner as it possible in the hours that remain to us and that’s what we’re going to do.”

G7’s Grand Plan to Tell Taliban to Play Nice… or Else! https://t.co/dDvjrLoqoy

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 24, 2021

Oliver JJ Lane