- Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
Find top stories and features from Asia and the Pacific region. Keep updated on major political stories and analyses from Asia and the Pacific. All you want to know about China, Japan, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Oceania.
U.S. Marines and German service member watch an entry gate during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021. - Sputnik International

Live Updates: US Embassy Calls on Americans to Leave Vicinity of Kabul Area Due to 'Credible' Threat

US allies fear that thousands of people will be abandoned in Afghanistan after the 31 August deadline set by Washington for the withdrawal of its troops. The Taliban* has warned that the consequences of an extension of the pullout will be dire.
On Saturday, the US Embassy in Afghanistan said in a security alert that "due to a specific, credible threat, all U.S. citizens in the vicinity of Kabul airport (HKIA), including the South (Airport Circle) gate, the new Ministry of the Interior, and the gate near the Panjshir Petrol station on the northwest side of the airport, should leave the airport area immediately".
The chaotic evacuation of allied forces and their Afghan partners from Kabul was thrown into disarray on Thursday after a string of suicide blasts near several airport gates caused numerous casualties among US forces and those trying to flee.
Over 170 people were reported dead and hundreds wounded in three attacks by Daesh-K* suicide bombers. 
Follow Sputnik’s feed to find out more. 
*The Taliban and Daesh-K are terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
Table of contents
New firstOld first
01:36 GMT 29.08.2021

Since August 14, a total of 113,500 people have been evacuated; and since the end of July, the US has helped evacuate 119,000 from Afghanistan.

01:35 GMT 29.08.2021

"We’re developing detailed plans for how we can continue to provide consular support and facilitate departures for those who wish to leave after August 31," a senior US State Department official told The Washington Post.

According to both officials, the US administration is looking at different options with regard to US diplomatic engagement in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s (terrorist organization, banned in Russia) takeover of Kabul on August 15.

The Biden administration has not made any final decisions about what a future US diplomatic presence in Afghanistan might look like, or whether Washington will recognize a Taliban government, according to The Washington Post.

23:03 GMT 28.08.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Paris and London will call on Monday for the creation of a "safe zone" in the Afghan capital of Kabul, which is expected to allow the continuation of humanitarian operations, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Monday to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan.

Macron told Journal du Dimanche that France and the UK are developing a "draft resolution" which "aims to define, under UN control, a 'safe zone' in Kabul to allow humanitarian operations to continue."

The French president explained that such a "safe zone" would provide a framework for the United Nations to act in an emergency. Macron also said that France is counting on the help of Qatar in what concerns airlift operations.

21:06 GMT 28.08.2021

The United Kingdom was initially planning to end its evacuation mission by Friday evening.

19:01 GMT 28.08.2021

Moscow will build relations with the new Afghan government based on the existing contacts with the Taliban (a terrorist group, banned in Russia), Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said on Saturday.

"The fact that the Taliban have come to power is already a reality. And we will have to build relations with this new situation and the new government in Afghanistan," Kabulov said at the Soloviev Live YouTube show.

According to the diplomat, Russia is "relatively comfortable" with the changes in Afghanistan, since it has been in contact with the Taliban for the past eight years.

18:52 GMT 28.08.2021
MQ-9_Reaper_in_flight_(2007) Drone - UAV - Sputnik International, 1920
Biden Vows More Strikes Against Daesh-K as New Terrorist Attack 'Highly Likely' Within 24-36 Hours
18:24 GMT 28.08.2021

The evacuation of Russian and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) citizens from Afghanistan will be carried out in full by the Russian Defense Ministry, Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the defence ministry to start evacuating Russians, Ukrainians and CSTO citizens from Afghanistan on August 25. Four evacuation flights were carries out the next day. Russian Ambassador in Kabul Dmitriy Zhirnov said on Friday that new evacuation lists are being formed and 170 people have already registered to be flown out.

"I hope that [the evacuation operation] will end well ... We will fulfil our task," Shoigu told the SolovyovLive show on YouTube.

According to the minister, Putin has ordered to "ensure that Russia can evacuate all its citizens and citizens of CSTO member states and others — everyone who needs it."

18:01 GMT 28.08.2021

The United Kingdom has evacuated almost 15,000 Britons and Afghans from Kabul in the past two weeks, UK Ambassador to Afghanistan Laurie Bristow said on Saturday.

Almost 1,000 military, as well as diplomatic and civilian personnel worked on the evacuation operation, Bristow said in a video posted on Twitter.

"Nearly 15,000 British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk have been evacuated from Kabul since Operation Pitting began - our commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure," the diplomat tweeted, adding that "it's time to close this phase of the operation now."

According to UK media, citing military sources, the last British evacuation plane took off from Kabul earlier on Saturday.

The United Kingdom was initially planning to end its evacuation mission by Friday evening.

The UK embassy in Afghanistan was evacuated after the sudden fall of Kabul to the Taliban (a terrorist group, banned in Russia) on August 15.

17:49 GMT 28.08.2021
Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
Taliban Can Seize Panjshir in Mere Hours But Want to Avoid Bloodshed, Russian Ambassador Says
16:38 GMT 28.08.2021
Дым от взрыва возле аэропорта в Кабуле, Афганистан - Sputnik International, 1920
'Attack on Afghan Soil': US Should've Informed Taliban of Strike, Group's Spokesman Allegedly Says
16:24 GMT 28.08.2021
16:19 GMT 28.08.2021
16:18 GMT 28.08.2021
16:11 GMT 28.08.2021
16:03 GMT 28.08.2021

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday confirmed that negotiations are being carried out with the Taliban (a terrorist group, banned in Russia) on the humanitarian operations and the evacuation of vulnerable Afghans.

"Yes, talks have begun with the Taliban on humanitarian operations and the ability to protect and evacuate Afghans at risk," Macron said told a press conference on the sidelines of the Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership Conference.

The French leader noted that the mission was being worked out in cooperation with Qatar.

15:04 GMT 28.08.2021
Doha talks - Sputnik International, 1920
Afghanistan's Saleh Says Doha Talks Marked 'Beginning of the End'
14:34 GMT 28.08.2021

A drone strike on Friday targeting a Daesh*-K planner was not believed to have hit a senior militant, and further military operations are possible, Reuters reported, citing an anonymous US official.

14:32 GMT 28.08.2021

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official told Reuters that the number of US troops at Kabul airport dropped from 5,800 to below 4,000. 

13:49 GMT 28.08.2021

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) called on Saturday for an urgent boost of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to support people, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture, through ongoing drought and the upcoming winter season.

Harvest in Afghanistan this year is already expected to be 20% lower than in 2020 and 15% lower than the average due to acute drought. FAO said it aims to assist 250,000 vulnerable Afghan families in rural areas.

"However, current funding will only enable FAO to support 110 000 families. There is a funding shortfall of USD 18 million in support for FAO's Drought Response Plan in Afghanistan," the agency said.

The planting season in Afghanistan begins in late September and runs into early October, so seeds should be supplied to local farmers urgently. For a largely rural country that depends on agriculture heavily, the failed winter wheat season will mean "a disaster" for millions, both farmers and consumers, FAO's Representative in Afghanistan, Richard Trenchard, said.

"If we fail to assist the people most affected by the acute drought, large numbers will be forced to abandon their farms and be displaced in certain areas. This threatens to further deepen food insecurity and poses yet another threat to the stability of Afghanistan," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said.

On Wednesday, the World Bank announced that it had suspended the financial aid to Afghanistan, expressing concerns over the impact of Taliban (banned in Russia) takeover on the country's development prospects.

13:12 GMT 28.08.2021
People march in protest near the Central Kabul Bank, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021, - Sputnik International, 1920
Hundrends of Kabul Residents Reportedly Protest Closure of Banks - Photos
12:50 GMT 28.08.2021

Two more families of refugees from Afghanistan who pleaded for international protection arrived in Estonia late on Friday night, the press service of the Estonian foreign ministry said.

On Thursday, Tallinn welcomed the first family of refugees which consisted of six members.

"Late on Friday night, two more Afghan families, who pleaded for international protection, arrived in Estonia. One [of the families] consists of three members and the other of four," the statement said.

It is furthermore stated that Afghans arriving in Estonia were granted refugee status only after passing a background check from the Police and Border Guard Board.

Last week, Estonia's government announced that it was ready to accept up to 30 Afghan citizens who worked alongside the military and civilian experts from the Baltic state, as well as those who had collaborated with Estonia's allies in Afghanistan.

12:49 GMT 28.08.2021

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday that Russia was in full contact with Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states regarding the situation in Afghanistan and that the interaction needed to be stepped up.

"We, of course, are in full contact with CSTO members on Afghanistan," Shoigu said, adding that "Our interaction within the CSTO must be strengthened."

The official noted that developments in Afghanistan might pose a threat to CSTO countries with regard to drug trafficking and infiltration of militants.

"And we certainly do not want all these to come to our countries, the CSTO countries," Shoigu added.

12:26 GMT 28.08.2021

"The Prime Minister and Chancellor resolved to work, alongside the rest of the G7, to put in place the roadmap on dealing with any new Afghan government discussed at last week's leaders' meeting," Johnson's office said in a statement.

"The Prime Minister stressed that any recognition and engagement with the Taliban must be conditional on them allowing safe passage for those who want to leave the country and respecting human rights," the statement added. 

12:02 GMT 28.08.2021

"It's time to close this phase of operation at the Kabul airport," UK ambassador to Afghanistan said on Saturday.

He added that the UK will continue to do everything it can to help Afghans who have been unable to leave.

11:32 GMT 28.08.2021

French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted the importance of keeping vigilance high in the fight against Daesh* (a terrorist group banned in Russia), as it continues to pose a threat in Iraq.

"Islamic State was defeated in 2017 thanks to the courage of the Iraqi military and the support of the international coalition forces. We all know that we must not lose our vigilance, since Islamic State remains a threat, and I know that the fight against these terrorist organisations is a priority for our government," Macron told reporters after his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The French president also stressed France's commitment to Iraq's stability.

The meeting between the politicians was broadcast on the official Twitter of the Elysee Palace.

Macron is currently visiting Iraq and on Saturday also met with the country's president, Barham Salih.

11:31 GMT 28.08.2021

The Taliban (a terrorist group, outlawed in Russia) has released the governor, and chiefs of local police and national security in Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman, who were arrested when the militants overrun the province, a provincial source said on Saturday.

Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported earlier that several government officials were jailed or missing after the Islamist movement had seized control over Laghman and Ghazni.

11:17 GMT 28.08.2021
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division patrol Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 17, 2021. Picture taken August 17, 2021.  U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Taylor Crul/Handout via REUTERS  THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY./File Photo/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920
US Reportedly Blows Up Last CIA Military Outpost in Afghanistan
10:21 GMT 28.08.2021

Taliban (a terrorist group, banned in Russia) prevented 20 Afghans, who were to be evacuated on a Norwegian plane to Slovakia, to pass through a checkpoint at the Kabul airport, Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ivan Korčok said.

"A group of 20 Afghans, for whom we agreed on seats on the Norwegian plane, were not allowed to pass through the Taliban-controlled entrance [to the airport on Friday]," Korčok said on Facebook.

The ministry has done everything possible to help the Afghans, who cooperated with Slovakia, and their families to evacuate from Kabul, the minister's statement added.

"Unfortunately, we just received a notification that this group of Afghans was unable to pass through the Taliban checkpoint, in a dramatic turn of events and with threats that weapons would be used, [the Taliban] prevented them from entering the airport," Korčok added.

With these actions the Taliban are violating their own promise that they will allow evacuation from Kabul by August 31, Korčok stressed. He brought forth his sincerest apologies and said that as of now, Slovakia is unable to influence the situation in Kabul, but will not stop working on it.

On Friday, the Taliban announced that they have taken over the control of zones in the military section of the airport. It was further reported that as soon as the United States forces leave, the Taliban will be ready to take full control of the airport.

On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul, prompting the US-supported civilian government to back down. Many countries have resorted to evacuating their citizens and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan including Afghan citizens who worked in close cooperation with the respective countries.

09:29 GMT 28.08.2021
08:41 GMT 28.08.2021
Stuart Scheller to the American leadership - Sputnik International, 1920
US Marine Relieved of Duty After Demanding 'Accountability' For Afghan Chaos in a Viral Clip
08:41 GMT 28.08.2021
France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference with Iraq's President Barham Salih (not seen) ahead of the Baghdad summit at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq August 28, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
Macron Urges to Stay Vigilant in the Face of Daesh Threat Days After Deadly Kabul Airport Attack
07:33 GMT 28.08.2021

"We're reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today. And then it will be necessary to bring our troops out on the remaining aircraft," armed forces chief General Nick Carter said.

"We haven't been able to bring everyone out, and that has been heart-breaking. And there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground," he added.

06:28 GMT 28.08.2021
A U.S. Marine assists at an Evacuation Control Check Point (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920
Tragedy in Kabul Turns West's 'Right of Interference' Into Political Fiasco
06:28 GMT 28.08.2021
Members of Taliban forces sit at a security tower of the interior ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan August 17, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
Taliban Naming Ex-Gitmo Detainee as Minister May Derail Biden's Plan to Close Prison
05:17 GMT 28.08.2021
Evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport - Sputnik International, 1920
US Embassy Warns Americans to Avoid Kabul Airport Over 'Security Threats' as Airlift In Final Stage
04:31 GMT 28.08.2021
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала