Afghanistan: UN resumes aid flights

Status: 03.09.2021 1:48 a.m.

The UN has announced that it will resume its air service for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. After the failure of the international military operation, experts warn of an increased risk of an attack.

After the Taliban came to power, the United Nations Air Service resumed flights in Afghanistan. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that Humanitarian Air Service (Unhas) passenger planes are currently connecting the Pakistani capital Islamabad with Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Kandahar in the south of Afghanistan. In addition, an airlift will be set up for cargo such as medical and other relief supplies.

Dujarric said that as soon as the security and financial situation allowed, the flight service operated by the World Food Program WFP would again fly to more than 20 destinations in Afghanistan – as in the past. The Unhas connections should enable more than 160 aid organizations to continue their life-saving activities in the Afghan provinces.

Kabul airport has been out of service since the end of the military operation

The international military operation in Afghanistan ended this week after almost 20 years. The last US troops flew out of Kabul on Tuesday night. Then the militant Islamist Taliban took over the airport, which was secured by US soldiers until the end. The airport has not been in operation since then. International efforts are under way to re-enable flights to Kabul in order to fly foreign nationals and other asylum seekers out of the country.

Neumann sees an increased risk of attacks after the Taliban advance

After the failure of the international military operation in Afghanistan, the terrorism expert Peter Neumann also sees an increased risk of an attack looming. “What is currently happening in Afghanistan is a big boost for the jihadist scene,” he told the editorial network Germany. “It is already being exploited for propaganda purposes. According to the motto: This is a great victory. If the Taliban can do that, then you can too.”

This is an important psychological effect, because the jihadists have not had any great successes for years. “Now there is a kind of jolt through the scene again. That can and should have an animating effect on potential individual perpetrators. That is why there is actually a slightly increased risk of terrorism.”

Neumann is said to be part of the so-called “future team” that Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet (CDU) wants to introduce in the morning. He should be responsible for the topic of networking internal and external security.

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