Prime Minister Calls British Emergency Cobra Conference in Afghanistan


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has convened an emergency ministerial meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, announced by Downing Street.

The top-level Cobra meeting on the afternoon of August 13 will take place less than a day after the announcement that 600 British troops will be sent to Afghanistan to oversee the effective evacuation of British citizens. ..

In recent weeks, the Taliban have taken control of government forces in many cities in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Allied forces and last night dominated Kandahar, the second largest city in the country.

Derived from the location of Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms A, the Cobra Conference is a mechanism for governments to shape their response to major events and emergencies.

Defense Minister Ben Wallace fears that al-Qaeda, the group behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, will “probably come back” as Afghanistan destabilizes again. He said he was doing it.

Wallace announced last night that about 600 British troops were dispatched to secure the evacuation of British citizens, and that Afghans are currently at risk of retaliation in the Taliban, supporting British operations. did.

“The safety of British citizens, British military personnel and former Afghan personnel is our number one priority,” Defense Minister Ben Wallace said in a statement on August 13.

He said they would arrive in the next few days and would also support the rest of the diplomatic presence in the capital Kabul.

Britain’s diplomatic presence in the capital is narrowed down to skeleton staff who handle only controls that are inherently related to evacuation.

The announcement was made when Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, a major economic hub, fell into the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman said on Friday that he had occupied three other cities, including the capital of Helmand.

They currently control most of northern Afghanistan and about one-third of the country’s provincial capital.

The United States has announced that it will send 3,000 troops to assist the evacuation of Americans.

According to US intelligence this week, the Taliban were able to quarantine Kabul within 30 days and take over it in 90 days.

General Nick Carter, the head of the British Army, warned that the country could once again become a hotbed of international terrorism, at risk of opening a dangerous “security gap.”

Last week’s official advice told all British citizens to leave as soon as possible while they still had commercial travel options.

PA and Reuters contributed to this report

Simon Veazey

Simon Veazey

Freelance reporter

Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has been reporting on the Epoch Times since 2006 on a variety of beats, from detailed coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing of the latest news.