Exclusive-U.S. wants to quickly transfer Afghan pilots who ran away to Tajikistan, authorities states By Reuters

© Reuters. SUBMIT PICTURE: A member of the Afghan flying force marshals in an A-29 Super Tucano at Hamid Karzai International Airport near Kabul, Afghanistan, January 15, 2016. U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb/Handout through REUTERS//File Photo


By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants to quickly transfer around 150 U.S.-trained Afghan Air Force pilots and other workers apprehended in Tajikistan for more than 2 months after they flew there at the end of the Afghan war, a U.S. authorities stated.

The State Department authorities, who spoke on condition of privacy, decreased to use a timeline for the transfer however stated the United States wished to move all of those held at the very same time. The information of the U.S. strategy have actually not been formerly reported.

Reuters specifically reported first-person accounts from 143 U.S.-trained Afghan workers being held at a mental hospital in a mountainous, backwoods beyond the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, awaiting a U.S. flight out to a 3rd nation and ultimate U.S. resettlement.

Speaking on smuggled mobile phone kept concealed from guards, they state they have had their phones and identity files taken.

There are likewise 13 Afghan workers in Dushanbe, taking pleasure in far more unwinded conditions, who informed Reuters they are likewise waiting for a U.S. transfer. They flew into the nation independently.

The Afghan workers in Tajikistan represent the last significant group of U.S.-trained pilots still thought to be in limbo after lots of sophisticated military airplane were flown throughout the Afghan border to Tajikistan and to Uzbekistan in August throughout the last minutes of the war with the Taliban.

In September, a U.S.-brokered offer enabled a bigger group of Afghan pilots and other military workers to be flown out of Uzbekistan to the United Arab Emirates.

Two apprehended Afghan pilots in Tajikistan stated their hopes were raised in current days after sees by authorities from the U.S. embassy in Dushanbe.

Although they stated they had actually not yet been offered a date for their departure, the pilots stated U.S. authorities got the biometric information required to finish the procedure of determining the Afghans. That was the last action prior to departure for the Afghan pilots in Uzbekistan.


U.S. legislators and military veterans who have actually promoted for the pilots have actually revealed deep disappointment over the time it has actually considered President Joe Biden’s administration to leave Afghan workers.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was continued the matter in Congress last month, revealing issue at a hearing for the pilots and other workers.

Reuters had actually formerly reported U.S. problems acquiring Tajik access to all of the Afghans, that include an Afghan Air Force pilot who is 8 months pregnant.

In an interview with Reuters, the 29-year-old pilot had actually voiced her issues to Reuters about the threats to her and her kid at the remote mental hospital. She was consequently relocated to a maternity healthcare facility.

“We are like prisoners here. Not even like refugees, not even like immigrants. We have no legal documents or way to buy something for ourselves,” she stated.

The pregnant pilot would be consisted of in the moving from Tajikistan, the U.S. State Department authorities stated.

Even prior to the Taliban’s takeover, the U.S.-trained, English-speaking pilots had actually ended up being prime targets of the Taliban since of the damage they caused throughout the war. The Taliban located the pilots and assassinated them off-base.

Afghanistan’s brand-new rulers have actually stated they will welcome previous military workers to sign up with the revamped security forces which they will concern no damage.

Afghan pilots who talked to Reuters state they think they will be eliminated if they go back to Afghanistan.

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