London: Military planes carrying British troops and diplomats from Kabul are landing at a UK air base after the U.K.’s two-week evacuation operation ended.
The U.K. ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, was among those who arrived Sunday at RAF Brize Norton northwest of London, hours after the government announced that all British personnel had left Kabul.
Britain says it has evacuated more than 15,000 U.K. citizens and vulnerable Afghans in the past two weeks but that as many as 1,100 Afghans who were entitled to come to the U.K. have been left behind.
Vice Adm. Ben Key, who was in charge of the British operation, said: We tried our best.
In a video message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the colossal effort, saying it was a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.
But he is facing strong criticism over the failure to bring to safety all those Afghans who helped British forces during the 20-year deployment in Afghanistan that began in the wake of 9/11.
Johnson acknowledged that Britain would not have wished to leave in this way, but said we have to recognise that we came in with the United States, in defence and support of the US and the US military did the overwhelming bulk of the fighting. (AP)