Daesh threat in Afghanistan, Taliban, N. Alliance peace accord
LONDON: Realising the grim situation in Afghanistan, the Western countries have warned their citizens to leave Kabul Airport immediately in view of the threat of terrorism. Large crowds have gathered at and around the airport, and other foreign flights have been shut down following US President Joe Biden’s decision to suspend flights before the deadline.
One of the reasons for the deadline set by Joe Biden and his associates this week was the threat of “severe” terrorism from the Islamic State (ISIS). The U.S. State Department said in a statement that “people at the Abbey Gate, South Gate or North Gate must leave immediately,” citing unknown “security threats.”
The Taliban radical movement (outlawed in Russia) and the Northern Alliance (the United Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan) have agreed to refrain from military action and attacking each other. It is noted that the sides will make an announcement about the agreement at a press conference during the day.
According to the sources, the meetings between the delegations of the Taliban and the Northern Alliance took place over the past two days in Charikar in Afghanistan’s Parwan Province. It is expected that the deal will prevent potential clashes between the supporters of the two organizations in the Panjshir Province which remains the only Afghan region not controlled by the Taliban.
According to available data, the Alliance numbers up to 10,000 combatants including servicemen from the government’s active armed forces and has heavy armaments at its disposal. On August 22, the Taliban announced that they were dispatching their formations to capture Panjshir. According to media outlets, following this announcement, Ahmad Massoud began negotiations with Taliban representatives in order to create an inclusive government and to overcome political differences.
In Afghanistan, Pakistan, the terrorist organization ISIS has been responsible for dangerous attacks in recent years. It has massacred civilians in mosques, shrines, public places and even hospitals in both countries.
Afghans told to avoid Kabul airport as Daesh threat emerges
The United States and allies urged people to move away from Kabul airport on Thursday due to the threat of a Daesh terror attack as Western troops hurry to evacuate as many Afghans as possible before an Aug. 31 deadline.
Pressure to complete the evacuations of thousands of foreigners and Afghans who helped Western countries during the 20-year war against the Taliban has intensified, with all US and allied troops due to leave the airport next week.
In an alert issued on Wednesday evening, the US embassy in Kabul advised citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and said those already at the gates should leave immediately, citing unspecified “security threats.”
Noting that the security situation in Afghanistan remains ‘volatile’, the United Kingdom has advised its citizens to not visit Kabul airport and move away to a “safe location and await further advice”.
In a statement on late Wednesday, the UK foreign office said travelling by road in Afghanistan is currently extremely dangerous, Sputnik reported.
“The security situation in Afghanistan remains volatile. There is an ongoing and high threat of terrorist attacks. Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport. If you are in the area of the airport, move away to a safe location and await further advice,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on late Wednesday.
“Commercial flights are not currently operating. If you can leave Afghanistan safely by other means, you should do so immediately,” the Foreign Office concluded.
The new advisory comes as the Taliban has said they have blocked the road to the Kabul airport and will not allow anyone except foreign citizens to pass.
This also comes as the foreign troops’ withdrawal deadline is approaching. US President Joe Biden recently made it clear that the US is sticking to the 31 August deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Earlier, several countries have urged the US to extend its deadline for troops drawdown as several foreign citizens and vulnerable Afghans are still stuck in the war-ravaged country.
The UK Ministry of Defence said that more than 11,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan by London. “Latest numbers from Operation PITTING: – 11, 474 people have been evacuated by the UK since 13 August; – 6946 of those people are Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy claimants,” the ministry wrote on its Twitter page on late Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the US state department on Wednesday sent out an alert advising its citizens to avoid travelling to the Kabul airport.
“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” a security alert from the US Embassy in Kabul said on Wednesday.
“U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.” (ANI)