India’s 3rd evacuation flight takes off with citizens from Kabul Airport
An Indian air force rescue plane – C130J, carrying Indian citizens has taken off from Afghanistan on Saturday. The government has been putting in coordinated efforts to bring back citizens safely.
After the capture of the capital Kabul earlier this week, the Indian Air Force operated two sorties of the C-17 Globemaster after getting clearance from the US forces at the airport there and brought back around 180 officials.
Indian Air Force’s C-17 aircraft evacuated more than 140 passengers from Kabul. The flight landed at the Hindon airbase near the national capital at around 5 PM after a brief halt at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
India is coordinating very closely with the US, which controls the Kabul airport, for the planned evacuation of some 400 Indian nationals who are still in Afghanistan. The US side decides slots for all military evacuation flights at a time when commercial flights are yet to resume from the closed civilian side of the airport.
People familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity that the US side is expected to play a crucial role in assisting Indian nationals trying to get into the military side of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport, including providing security in areas on the periphery that are being patrolled by the Taliban.
The ongoing evacuation of US citizens and Afghan nationals who supported Americans over the last two decades is one of the largest and most difficult airlifts in history, US President Joe Biden said Friday. He had earlier pledged to bring back all Americans from the country, which descended into a state of chaos after the Taliban’s return to power.
The US government will retain a laser focus on its counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, President Biden said, warning of a forceful response to any attack on American forces or disruption of its operations at the Kabul airport. “We’re also keeping a close watch on any potential threat at or around the airport,” he said.