Dutch Military Plans to Send ‘Several Flights’ to Afghan Capital for Evacuations

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
August 16, 2021Europe
Dutch Military Plans to Send ‘Several Flights’ to Afghan Capital for Evacuations
Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld looks on during a parliamentary debate in The Hague in the Netherlands on May 14, 2020. (Bart Maat/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Dutch military plane is on the way to the Afghan capital to pick up people in Kabul following a Taliban takeover on Aug. 15, the country’s defense minister said on Monday.

“A military plane is currently en route to becoming the first to evacuate interpreters, local embassy personnel, and families from Kabul,” Dutch Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld said in a statement.

She added that because of the “uncertain situation” in the landlocked South Asian country, the northwestern European nation has “several flights” planned, but right now just one military plane is confirmed to be on its way.

It is unclear how many interpreters of Dutch or Afghan origin who are claiming aid are still in Kabul. Last week, Bijleveld put the number of Afghan translators and local staff to be evacuated at “a few dozen.”

Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also addressed reporters in The Hague on the situation, explaining the situation in Kabul is currently “very complicated.”

Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks during his weekly press conference following the Council of Ministers in The Hague on Jan. 8, 2021. (Sem Van Der WalL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

“We are doing all we can to get embassy staff, translators, and others who deserve our protection out,” Rutte said.

The Dutch Parliament’s defense commission is due to return from a summer recess on Tuesday to debate the situation in Afghanistan including asylum for translators and others stranded in Kabul.

The evacuation order comes as Taliban terrorists reached the Afghan capital over the weekend after rapidly conquering multiple major cities and provincial capitals in the country over the past week. The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over after terrorists took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Aug. 15.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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