This is the third time in history that Washington has been forced to temporarily mobilize commercial aircraft for military service.
The Pentagon activated its Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) on Sunday for the third time in history in order to expedite the evacuation of US citizens and allies from Afghanistan, while the Taliban have blamed the US. .UU. For the disorder unleashed at the Kabul airport that has caused deadly crowds.
The Taliban, who took control of the South Asian country a week ago, directly blamed Washington for the chaotic evacuation. “The United States, with all its power and facilities, has not managed to bring order to the airport,” said the movement’s leader, Amir Khan Muttaqi, quoted by AFP, and contrasted that reality with “the calm and peace” that supposedly exists in areas of the rest of the country controlled by insurgents. “There is only chaos at the Kabul airport,” he added.
The Taliban’s indictment comes shortly after a stampede occurred outside the airfield. At least seven civilians who tried to enter the terminal were crushed or suffocated to death on Saturday, according to the British Defense Ministry.
In the midst of these tragic scenes and in an attempt to speed up transportation work, the Pentagon announced the activation of the first stage of its Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a rarely used mechanism.
The 18 civil airline planes will not fly directly to Kabul , but will pick up evacuees from “temporary safe shelters and makeshift bases.” And transport work from the Afghan capital will continue with the help of military aircraft.
The US Department of Defense also confirmed that it is the third time the CRAF has been activated. Created in 1952 in the wake of the post-WWII Berlin airlift, the fleet was only used twice before the current evacuation, during the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- Last Sunday, the Taliban seized Kabul and ended their offensive across Afghanistan, as President Ashraf Ghani resigned and left the country. As the insurgents arrived in the city, crowds of people rushed out of the country and the capital’s airport became the scene of chaos and stampedes .