The last British flights will leave Kabul today, leaving up to 150 Britons and more than 1,000 Afghans behind as time ticks down to the Tuesday withdrawal deadline. Gen.
Sir Nick Carter said on Saturday: ‘We haven’t been able to take everyone out and that is heartbreaking. We think that we’ve got most of the Afghans but I think there will be high hundreds who won’t have come out … and something has prevented them from coming, rather than any processing problem from our perspective.’
He added that U.S. troops now faced a ‘very difficult’ few days acting as the ‘rear guard’ to the withdrawal. ‘I think our American allies are going to be very challenged because the threat from ISIS-K has not gone away and of course there are still lots of desperate Afghans trying to get out,’ Sir Nick said.
‘Obviously public disorder is a real challenge and we saw that two weekends ago when a lot of very desperate Afghans tragically made their way onto the runway.
And then there’s the threat of terrorism which is not going to go away and you are at your most vulnerable when your last airplane is waiting to lift.
‘So I think we should be holding our breath and thinking really hard of that last airplane and thinking about what a challenge it’s going to be for those very brave people there trying to effect their departure,’ he said.
British troops landed this morning at RAF Brize Norton on one of the final flights back from Kabul airport which on Thursday was struck by an ISIS terror attack that killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. soldiers.
The Pentagon confirmed overnight it carried out a retaliatory drone strike that killed the ‘planner’ behind the suicide bombing. His car was obliterated by a missile while driving through Nangahar province, eastern Afghanistan.