Tuesday 17th August 2021
First rescue flight from Kabul
Bundeswehr only takes seven people
The situation in the Afghan capital is chaotic. It takes a while before the first Bundeswehr machine can land in Kabul. Now the evacuation flight is on its way again towards the Uzbek capital Tashkent. Most of those seeking protection stay behind.
The first Bundeswehr aircraft began its evacuation mission in Afghanistan under difficult conditions at Kabul Airport. After hours of delay and waiting in the air, the A400M landed there on Tuesday night. The machine dropped paratroopers who were supposed to secure the rescue operation, took people to be fled on board and quickly started again. “With those to be protected, the machine is now on its way to Tashkent / Uzbekistan,” she said Department of Defense on Twitter with.
According to information from government circles available to ntv, only seven people from the official list of excursions were on board, because no more people could be brought to the airport due to the night curfew.
The A400M machine had to circle over the airport for five hours because it was not allowed to land. The gasoline would not have lasted much longer, they said. Another Bundeswehr transport aircraft had previously had to break off the approach to Kabul and fly to Tashkent to refuel.
The US military has sent 6,000 soldiers to the airport to secure it. On Monday, traffic had to be temporarily suspended due to chaotic conditions. There were thousands of people on the tarmac. The airport was only opened again in the evening.
Safe evacuation process
The two planes are intended to bring German citizens and Afghan local staff who previously worked or are still working for the Bundeswehr or federal ministries to Uzbekistan. From the Tashkent hub there, charter planes will then continue to Germany. The two A400Ms started early Monday morning from Wunstorf in Lower Saxony towards Kabul and landed in Baku in Azerbaijan.
On Monday afternoon, two more Air Force aircraft made their way to Kabul: a third A400M, which is equipped for medical transport, and an Airbus A310 MRTT.
The detached paratroopers from the Rapid Forces Division are now supposed to help the US Army restore order at the airport and enable the evacuation to proceed safely. Thousands of people tried desperately to get on board one of the rescue pilots. Videos can be seen how numerous Afghans cling to a US military transport machine. According to media reports, several people died when they were run over by the plane or fell off. US soldiers also shot dead two armed men in the crowd who waved their weapons “threateningly,” a Pentagon official said. As a result, air traffic was temporarily suspended.