Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Above from left: Minister of State with Responsibility for Law Reform James Browne TD; Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys TD; and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman

This afternoon

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

The Government has agreed to provide up to 500 additional places for Afghan family members.More than 670 Afghan nationals have already been granted permission to reside in the State this year.

Via RTÉ:

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said the new reunification scheme announced today will apply to family members who are vulnerable in Afghanistan or who have fled to a neighbouring country.

She said the Government is very conscious of the plight faced by people in Afghanistan following the takeover of the Taliban.

Ms Humphreys said that more admissions under existing schemes are also expected in the weeks and months ahead.

The Government said it will be up to the Afghan people in Ireland to apply to get their relatives here.

Meanwhile…

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman said that almost 400 humanitarian visas have been issued following the takeover of the Taliban, with 150 of those visa holders already in Ireland.

He said these visas are being given to frontline human rights’ defenders, people who work in supporting women’s non-governmental organisations, journalists, members of the LGBTI+ community, and those who are particularly vulnerable to the Taliban takeover.

Mr O’Gorman said these people have full refugee status on their arrival in Ireland.

The minister said those arriving from Afghanistan will not go into direct provision.

Govt to provide up to 500 extra places for Afghan family members (RTÉ)

RollingNews

Ex-Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani warned President Joe Biden of the Taliban’s rapid advance on the country

This afternoon.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has refused during a press briefing to address a report from Reuters that said US President Joe Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani during a July phone call to make false claims about the fight against the Taliban.

Via Reuters:

Ghani told Biden, “We are facing a full-scale invasion composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists.”

Ghani begged for U.S. air support. “What is crucial is, close air support . . . a very heavy reliance on air power.” The Afghan army was based on the U.S. model which relies on air support for enemy strikes, but the contractors who serviced Afghan aircraft had left, leaving the Afghan army exposed.

The U.S. president wanted to talk about how it looked. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Biden said the U.S. would provide aid if Ghani could project to the world that he “had a plan” for fighting the Taliban. He suggested that a press conference with Afghanistan’s prominent political figures backing a new military strategy “will change perception.”

Biden’s words indicated he didn’t anticipate the massive insurrection and collapse to come 23 days later..

Psaki Refuses To Address Biden Allegedly Pressuring Afghan President To Make Dubious Claims About Fight Vs Taliban (Daily Caller)

Exclusive: Before Afghan collapse, Biden pressed Ghani to ‘change perception’ (Reuters)

Getty

This afternoon.

Yes, but orange man bad.

Family says 7 children were killed in Kabul drone strike; U.S. is investigating (LA Times)

Furious veterans slam Biden for checking his watch during dignified transfer of 13 US service members killed in ISIS-K’s Kabul suicide blast (Mail Online)

Meanwhile…

The weapons he left behind.

Via The Sunday Times/The Times

This afternoon.

Meanwhile…

It’s satire!

Or is it?

Clearly.

That’s what they want you to think.

Stop it.

Last night.

RTE One’s Prime Time.

Meanwhile…

….via Irish Examiner

Despite the initial 36 Irish citizens all being evacuated, a further 60 citizens have made contact with Irish authorities along with 15 Afghan citizens with Irish residency.

That 75 are being told to stay where they are for now, Mr Coveney said.

However, Mr Coveney told RTÉ Morning Ireland that it would not have been possible to have boots on the ground sooner.

“That is one of the answers we don’t have.

“All I can say is that we made decisions on the basis of the evidence we had and the advice that we had at any given time over the last 10 days was very clear that the arrangements we had in place in terms of partnerships on the ground with other countries were working on just getting people out.

“The situation is everything that I’ve seen in the media became much more complicated. In the last three or four days in particular, and much more dangerous, and it was about time that I decided that we needed to get people on the ground.

“And we managed to put in place the capacity to do that, because we thought it would add value in terms of taking the opportunities that will present themselves to get people out.

“And so we sent 11 people into a very dangerous situation.

“The most difficult task was to get people from the streets of Kabul into the airport, and we had then fantastic supports to get them onto planes, whether that was France, whether it was Finland in recent days, Germany, the Netherlands, UK have also been really really supportive in terms of everything we’ve been trying to do.”

Simon Coveney defends decision not to send Irish troops to Kabul airport sooner (Irish Examiner)

This afternoon.

Earlier…

This afternoon.

Via CNN:

An explosion was reported outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday, according to two US officials.
The blast happened at one of the entry gates of the airport and appears to be a suicide attack, according to three US officials. Crowds of Afghans have been gathering at the gates trying to gain access to the airport. One official said there are injuries among Afghans, but there is no information yet on any US casualties.

Update: An official has told Reuters that US Service members are among those injured in the blast, according to initial information.

Update: At least 13 people dead , including children, and wounded many Taliban guards, a Taliban official told Reuters.

More as we get it.

This afternoon.

Via Reuters:

In the first week following the Taliban conquest of Kabul, COVID-19 vaccinations in Afghanistan have dropped by 80%, the U.N. agency UNICEF said, warning that half of the few doses delivered to the country so far are close to expiry.

The Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital on Aug. 15, having already captured most of the country earlier in the month after the United States decided to withdraw military forces after 20 years of war.

Since the Taliban takeover “there’s been an 80% drop in people reached with COVID-19 vaccines,” a spokesperson for UNICEF told Reuters.

In the week starting on Aug. 15, 30,500 people had been vaccinated in 23 of the 34 provinces of the country, whereas the previous week 134,600 people were inoculated in 30 provinces, according to figures provided by UNICEF, which coordinates the rollout of COVID-19 shots distributed across the world by the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine programme Covax.

U.N. sees massive drop in COVID vaccinations in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover (Reuters)

Reuters

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan

This afternoon.

Meanwhile…

Gulp.

Meanwhile…

Ah here.

This afternoon.

Impossible to measure.

Meanwhile…

eat liver

Biden Wanted to Leave Afghanistan. He Knew the Risks. (Wall Street Journal)

Yesterday: Mujoehiding


This afternoon.

Via CNN:

Biden’s political and geopolitical rivals rush to exploit his mistakes, the true magnitude of the crisis can only be judged in the human tragedy of a people again subject to Taliban persecution. And a failure to fulfill the now apparently near-impossible tasks of evacuating all the Afghan translators, workers and fixers on whom the US relied and who now face Taliban retribution would besmirch America’s conscience and global reputation.

…Biden remained at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on Monday morning, amid rising pressure for him to address the nation on the crisis. Senior national security officials appeared on television news shows in an apparent effort to counter the impression that the administration had been badly overtaken by events.

After video emerged of Afghans flooding the tarmac at Kabul airport, deputy national security adviser Jon Finer admitted that the airport was crowded with “desperate” Afghans wanting to leave, but insisted on CNN’s “New Day” that the US had the forces in place “that are necessary to bring stability and security to that airport.”

Meanwhile…

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan deflected the blame for the scenes of chaos in Kabul, saying on ABC News that the President would speak to Americans “soon.” And he blamed Afghan armed forces for folding in the face of the lightning Taliban advance.

“(Biden) thought the Afghan national security forces could step up and fight because we spent 20 years, tens of billions of dollars training them, giving them the best equipment, giving them support of US forces for 20 years and when push came to shove, they decided not to step up and fight for their country,” Sullivan said.

Biden’s botched Afghan exit is a disaster at home and abroad long in the making (CNN)

Earlier: The Great Game

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