The final UK evacuation flight purely for Afghan nationals has left Kabul airport, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Any further flights which will now leave Kabul under the UK’s evacuation operation will have UK diplomatic and military personnel on board.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the final flight purely for evacuations under Operation Pitting had departed from Kabul.
It is understood any further flights would be able to transport those still needing evacuation, but would now also include personnel travelling back to the UK.
WAKIL KOHSAR via Getty Images
It comes as British ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow said it was “time to close this phase” of the evacuation effort.
In a video posted on Twitter, Sir Laurie – who has remained in Afghanistan processing those who needed to leave the country – said: “The team here have been working until the very last moment to evacuate British nationals, Afghans and others at risk.
“Since the 13th of August, we’ve brought nearly 15,000 people to safety, and about 1,000 military, diplomatic, civilian personnel have worked on Operation Pitting in Kabul, many, many more elsewhere.
“Thursday’s terrorist attack was a reminder of the difficult and dangerous conditions in which Operation Pitting has been done. And sadly I attended here yesterday the ceremony to pay our respects to the 13 US soldiers who died.”
Nearly 15,000 British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk have been evacuated from Kabul since Operation Pitting began – our commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure. pic.twitter.com/zUQ52ps1cE
— Laurie Bristow (@laurie_bristow) August 28, 2021