US general says lesser than 1,400 evacuees from Afghanistan still at Qatar base
DOHA (UAE) – The United States has moved most of the 57,000 people it evacuated from Afghanistan to Qatar out of the Gulf state, with fewer than 1,400 still at the US military base there, a US general said on Saturday.
The US evacuated roughly 124,000 people from Kabul last month as part of a huge US-led airlift of its citizens, Afghans and other nationals as the Taliban took control of the country.
Brigadier General Gerald Donohue told reporters some of those who had been flown out of Qatar were now in the United States, while others were in Europe, where they are being processed.
Many of the 1,400 still at Al Udeid base in Qatar are scheduled to be flown out on Saturday, while a small group needing medical care would stay until able to travel, he said.
Afghan and non-Afghan nationals had been flown to Al Udeid and at the peak there were over 17,500 evacuees on the base at a single point in time, the general said.
Nine babies were born at the base during the evacuation mission, he added.
Following the scramble to evacuate vulnerable Afghans, thousands of people, some with no documentation or pending US visa applications, others in families with mixed immigration statuses, are now waiting in “transit hubs” in third countries.
Afghans must overcome bureaucratic immigration hurdles to eventually enter the United States.