The Canadian military will end its military mission at Kabul airport on Thursday, Canadian television (CTV) reported Thursday. Just a day earlier, CTV reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was ready to keep its military personnel in Afghanistan after the U.S. set an August 31 deadline for withdrawal.
Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s defence minister, said the 6,000-strong contingent must be the last to leave the airport on August 31st, the deadline for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, as the US is leading the mission and providing security. This means that Canadian special forces and crews must begin preparations for withdrawal in advance.
“It takes quite a long time to end a mission, ” says Mr Shi. This is not done overnight and there are considerable risks. ”
Canada is one of 13 countries involved in airlifting Afghans to safety using two C-17 transport planes, the report said. At the same time, special forces personnel in the country are working on the ground outside Kabul airport, moving Afghans who want to evacuate to military aircraft waiting at the airport.
A senior Canadian government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the last C-17 would leave Kabul on Thursday to keep the military safe, but it was unclear when it would leave given the chaos on the ground. It is not known if all remaining Canadian military personnel will board the plane.
Earlier, CTV reported that G7 leaders held an emergency online meeting on Tuesday to discuss issues such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mr. Trudeau said after the meeting that Canada was prepared to stay longer after the August 31 deadline, if possible.
On the other hand, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says the U.S. military will have to start withdrawing its own soldiers and equipment in the coming days, but will prioritize human life and help its partners.