UK ending airlift from Afghanistan

UK ending airlift from Afghanistan
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The United Kingdom ended its airlift operations from Afghanistan, leaving with the last group of Afghan allies on Saturday.

Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said Saturday it is “time to close this phase of the operation” with troops the next to leave the country, The Associated Press reported.

The next few flights out of the country will carry troops and diplomats with the goal for them to be out over the weekend, according to the British Defense Ministry. 

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Some U.K. or Afghan citizens could accompany the troops home on the flights, but many will be left behind.

“But we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave,” Bristow said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to help them. Nor have we forgotten the brave, decent people of Afghanistan. They deserve to live in peace and security.”

Defense minister Ben Wallace said 800 to 1,100 Afghan allies have been left behind along with 100 to 150 British citizens, although some chose to stay in the country. 

"It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process," Wallace said.

Labour MPs believe the true number of people stuck in the country is higher and said Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonUK's Johnson dismisses calls to resign over lockdown party Measures to stem spread of omicron in UK dropped The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE was “betraying” his promises to Afghan allies, The Financial Times reported.

Johnson said the U.K. will “shift heaven and earth” to help Afghans get out of the country even after troops are withdrawn.  

There were more than 13,700 British and Afghan citizens who were evacuated by the U.K. during the operation.