Kabul: Chaotic scenes at airport as thousands try to flee
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It is believed Washington has put pressure on their own special forces not to venture into Kabul amid risks of being captured by the Taliban. SAS commanders have refused to agree to an alleged request from the US to halt the rescue missions inside of Kabul.
But a controversial American media report said a US officer told British special forces that their operations were making America “look bad” politically.
The reports were backed by a UK special forces source who told the Mirror: “It is true that there have been robust conversations in recent days out there – but these are very professional soldiers doing an extremely difficult job.
“There has been no long-term fallout between special forces groups on the ground and they are working quite brilliantly together on the rescue mission.”
It is also believed members of 2 Para – part of 16th Air Assault Brigade – have also been “snatching” entitled evacuees from under the control of the Taliban.
The source added how British SAS troops have even “groomed” Taliban fighters into easing pressure on the evacuation.
They continued: “There is a very unlikely but practical relationship being formed by extremely adept UK special forces operators out there in leveraging the Taliban.
“This is a purely practical development in order to ensure as many British and entitled Afghans get out of the country safely and as soon as possible.”
The source added: “British forces are having to use their initiative and that so far has worked very well.
“The Paras are doing a very good job, showing locals compassion and empathy, despite coming under tremendous strain from witnessing so much suffering.”
Over the last 24 hours, the UK has evacuated more than 1,800 people from Kabul.
The UK has extended the deadline to evacuate people from Afghanistan’s capital from today to Friday or Saturday, according to reports in The Times.
The number of those in Afghanistan eligible to enter the UK has risen from just 6,000 to a little over 12,000.
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Initially, only British citizens and Afghans who assisted UK forces in the Middle Eastern nation were eligible to enter the UK.
Changes to the rules now enable politicians, humanitarian workers and other members of the civic society to move across to Britain.
The new rules also allow for the families of eligible individuals to come to the UK.
The news comes as US President Joe Biden says his administration is considering extending the deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
He said: “There’s discussions going on among us and the military about extending.
“Our hope is we will not have to extend, but there are going to be discussions, I suspect, on how far along we are in the process.”
On the state of the evacuation of Kabul, the 78-year-old said: “The evacuation of thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful, no matter when it started or when we began.”
“It would have been true”, Biden continued, “if we had started a month ago or a month from now, there is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss, of heartbreaking images you see on television.”
G7 leaders are set to meet tomorrow to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
The virtual summit was agreed following talks between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Biden.
Downing Street said the pair had “agreed on the need for the global community to come together to prevent a humanitarian crisis”.
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