News World Middle East Four more RAAF flights lift 300 people out of Kabul

Four more RAAF flights lift 300 people out of Kabul

Australian Defence Force personnel in full PPE gear process two of the first evacuees from Kabul. Photo: Getty
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Scott Morrison says Australia ran a further four flights into Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday night, evacuating 300 people.

“We will continue to run those flights, working together with our partners and our allies,” the prime minister told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“We are uplifting not just Australians and Afghan visa holders for Australia, but those from the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand.”

He said the aim is to get as many people out safely with the proper checks being done both on the airfield in Kabul and as well as back in the Emirates.

Asked whether he can guarantee that Australians who want to get out, will get out, Mr Morrison said: “We will get as many people out as safely as possible.”

“I can’t guarantee the situation in Afghanistan.”

John Howard has no regrets

Former prime minister John Howard stands by his decision to send Australian troops into Afghanistan but does have some criticism over the way international forces have been withdrawn 20 years later.

Mr Howard says the original commitment into Afghanistan was totally justified in the face of the terrorist threat from the Taliban.

He said the presence of international forces in the country did result in a lot more young people being educated and a lot more rights being enjoyed by women.

“We are concerned they might be whittled away by the Taliban and obviously that is in everybody’s mind at the present moment,” Mr Howard Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

He also had some criticism over the way the US has handled the withdrawal from the country.

“I can understand that the American public has become war weary and both sides of politics had indicated that,” Mr Howard said.

“I guess my criticism, my reservation about the way it has been handled is, was it absolutely essential to withdraw every last soldier by a given date?”

He doesn’t believe that was necessary or that there was no reason a very much smaller force could not have been left there for an indeterminate time.

“That would have prevented some of the negative images that have clearly come out of Afghanistan and could well have emboldened the Afghan army, provided it had been supplemented by some air cover to have provide more resistance to the Taliban,” he said.