Afghanistan: ‘Thousands displaced’ to Kabul reveals expert
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British troops are being sent to Afghanistan following the capture of Herart, Afghanistan’s third largest city. It is now believed Kabul could fall within 90 days, according to US intelligence, as the situation rapidly worsens.
Why are British army troops being sent to Afghanistan?
Hundreds of paratroopers are being sent back to Afghanistan to bring home Britons still in the country, the Defence Secretary has announced, as the Taliban continues to make huge and rapid advances through the country.
Ben Wallace said that around 600 soldiers drawn from 16 Air Assault Brigade, deemed the unit in the British Army that can be deployed most quickly, will be sent to Afghanistan in the coming days.
They will be assisting with the evacuation of British nationals from the country, the troops will help to bring interpreters and other Afghan staff to the UK.
UK troops (Image: GETTY)
UK troops have been sent to evacuate remaining British citizens in Afghanistan (Image: GETTY)
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I have authorised the deployment of additional military personnel to support the diplomatic presence in Kabul, assist British nationals to leave the country and support the relocation of former Afghan staff who risked their lives serving alongside us.
“The security of British nationals, British military personnel and former Afghan staff is our first priority. We must do everything we can to ensure their safety.”
The UK Government told all remaining UK citizens to leave Afghanistan and return home last week, following a similar call made by the US Government.
The evacuation is expected to be complete on September 11 (Image: GETTY)
Some 4,000 Britons are thought to currently be in the country.
They have been urged to contact the Embassy in Kabul as soon as possible for assistance.
While forces will continue to use commercial aircraft to fly civilians back to the UK, it is understood that if any are stranded they could be rescued by troops.
The number of staff at the British Embassy in Kabul has been cut to a core team focused on providing consular and visa services for those needing to rapidly leave the country.
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The evacuation should be complete by September 11, a symbolic date chosen by the US as it marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks.
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month that British forces had withdrawn from the war-torn country after 20 years.
The conflict saw 457 British military personnel lose their lives.
Gen Carter, head of the British armed forces, said: “Ministers must also ensure all eligible Afghans and their families touch down safely on UK soil.
“The interpreters have been hugely important to British forces and the UK has a debt of honour to look after them. The Government must step up efforts to get them out of Afghanistan alongside British nationals.
“We share widespread dismay that the security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating so much faster than forecast. While our forces are withdrawing, we cannot walk away from the people of Afghanistan, so the UK should not be slashing aid and Ministers must push harder diplomatically with countries in the region to try to support a political process.”
Taliban insurgents have taken control of multiple cities (Image: GETTY)
What is happening in Afghanistan now?
On Thursday, Taliban insurgents continued to accelerate their advance across Afghanistan.
The western city of Herat is the latest to fall.
Heavy fighting has continued in Kandahar, only hours after the militants took control of the city of Ghazni.
The Taliban is now within 100 miles of Kabul.
The Taliban’s recent gains mean that premier Ashraf Ghani’s government has lost nearly a third of its provincial capitals in less than a week.