“Operation Apagan, launched on August 15 at the request of the President of the Republic, ended this evening. “The Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian announced via a press release the end of the airlift set up to evacuate Afghans threatened by the Taliban from Kabul to Paris, the day after the deadly attack that killed at least 85 people, including 13 American soldiers.
Operation Apagan, launched on August 15 at the request of the President of the Republic, ended this evening. In less than two weeks, the French soldiers brought to safety nearly 3,000 people, including more than 2,600 Afghans who were welcomed in France.
– Florence Parly (@florence_parly) August 27, 2021
France will continue this work of protection by all possible means after August 31.https: //t.co/2Hr098CTmm
-Jean-Yves Le Drian (@JY_LeDrian) August 27, 2021
In total, “nearly 3,000 people, including more than 2,600 Afghans” were thus taken to safety in just under two weeks. This airlift had to be interrupted because “the security conditions are no longer met at the airport” of Kabul due to the “rapid disengagement of the American forces” which will have left Afghanistan by August 31.
Discussions to secure departures after August 31
“The team from the French embassy in Kabul joined Abu Dhabi before returning to France”, added the ministers, thanking “diplomats, soldiers, police officers and all the state services” who mobilized “Relentlessly” to allow these evacuations to Paris via Abu Dhabi.
France, which calls for the establishment of humanitarian operations, with other allied countries, to allow the thousands of Afghans who have not managed to be evacuated to leave by other means, announced that it was going to continue discussions in this direction with the Taliban. “Our efforts continue (…) To this end, we will continue our efforts with Taliban officials to ensure that they will not put any obstacle after August 31 to the departure of those who wish,” noted the two ministers.
A French delegation met representatives of the Taliban in Doha on Thursday for the first time since they took power in Afghanistan on August 15. These discussions focused on the situation at Kabul airport and the evacuation operations, according to the two parties.
The United States continues despite the risk of another attack
“We believe that there are always (…) specific and credible threats,” said US Army spokesman John Kirby. President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki, citing security experts, said another attack was “likely.” The next few days will be “the most dangerous time yet,” she added. But the US military will continue the evacuations “until the last moment.”
The tension is at its height, a few days before the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of American soldiers from Afghanistan after 20 years of war, synonymous with the end of evacuations. In total, more than 100,000 people have been evacuated by the United States and the coalition.