Airlifting British and refugees from Afghanistan was an unprecedented mission: Prime Minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain’s departure from Afghanistan was “a culmination of its mission, unlike what we have seen in our lives.”

The final British troops and diplomatic staff were airlifted from Kabul on Saturday and were drawn into a 20-year involvement in Britain’s Afghanistan and a two-week operation to rescue the British people and Afghan allies.

Among those who landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Sunday morning was Sir Laurie Bristow, the Afghan ambassador who was handling those who fled the country until the last moment at the airport.

And it ended the pitching operation, which is believed to be the largest evacuation mission since World War II.

Resurrection of the Taliban in Afghanistan
The Royal Air Force Member 16 Air Assault Brigade departs from Afghanistan on August 29, 2021 at the Royal Air Force’s Blythe Norton Air Force Base and then walks to the Air Terminal. (Jonathan Brady / PA)

In a video uploaded to Twitter on Sunday morning, Johnson praised more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats and officials who participated in the operation in Afghanistan.

He states:

“They spent all their patience and care and thought they had to help those who were afraid of their lives.

“They saw first-hand a line of people they were trying to comfort and a barbaric terrorist attack on our American friends.

“They were unflinching. They were calm. They continued to work.

“It is thanks to their enormous efforts that the country has safely processed, checked, scrutinized and airlifted more than 15,000 people in less than two weeks.”

Shortly thereafter, Bristow arrived on one of the last flights with British troops and civilians on his final return from Afghanistan.

The Voyager aircraft landed at RAF Brize Norton Airfield in Oxfordshire on Sunday morning, carrying about 250 personnel, including members of the 16 aerial assault brigade stationed at Kabul Airport.

Resurrection of the Taliban in Afghanistan
Afghan Ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow (left) arrives at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, evacuates Kabul, and then leaves the plane when he leaves the plane, Philip Barton, Secretary-General of the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Department. You will be greeted by the Lord. , United Kingdom, August 29, 2021. (Jonathan Brady / PA)

The plane flew from Alminhad Airfield in the United Arab Emirates near Dubai, where the British evacuation flight from Afghanistan first landed.

Further flights with personnel are scheduled for late Sunday.

The government said that of the 15,000 people evacuated after the Taliban seized Kabul, 5,000 were British citizens and their families.

More than 8,000 Afghans who helped Britain’s efforts in interpreters and other roles or were vulnerable to persecution by terrorist groups were also able to escape safely with their families.

However, Vice Admiral Ben Kee, who commanded Operation Pitting, admitted that there was “sadness” that could not save everything.

He spoke at the Royal Air Force’s Brize Norton on Sunday morning, saying: No matter how hard we tried, there were some really sad stories of people desperately trying to leave and we failed to evacuate. “

He added: “A tremendous effort has been achieved in the last two weeks, and I think we always knew we were missing somewhere.

“So this is not a moment of blessing for us. It is a moment of tremendous international effort to evacuate as many people as possible.”

But Sir Richard Dannatt, the former president of the British Army, suggested that if the government “did not sleep under surveillance,” it could have done more.

He told Times Radio:

“I think the problem in Afghanistan was put off. Maybe it started coming out earlier. But suddenly when the Taliban hijacked the country in the way they did, it went straight from the rice cooker. Fallen to the kitchen floor, and we … made this chaotic extract.

“We should have done better, we should have done better. It is absolutely appropriate for us to know why the government did not spark early.”

“Your suffering and suffering was not in vain,” Johnson told British families and loved ones who “dedicated everything.”

“It was no coincidence that Afghanistan did not launch a terrorist attack on Britain and other Western nations in the last two decades,” he added.

But Conservative and veteran Tobias Ellwood said Britain “could barely show” in Afghanistan for 20 years.

The Chairman of the Commons Defense Select Committee told LBC:

“We lack strategy, national technology, and patience to see through, our way of departure is humiliation, a confirmation of our diminished determination, and the enemy has time to abuse it. Will not take. “

“Unfortunately, moving away from places where terrorist groups have become much easier to work has exacerbated the situation,” Elwood added.

Alexander Briton