Spain ends its evacuation operation from Afghanistan

An evacuation flight arrives on Spanish soil.

An evacuation flight arrives on Spanish soil. / EUROPA PRESS

  • Passengers on the final flights from Kabul will arrive at Madrid's Torrejón de Ardoz air base at 4.45pm this Friday afternoon

The Spanish Government has ended its mission in Afghanistan this Friday, 27 August, and the personnel who had remained in Kabul, coordinating the evacuation of collaborators, are already in Dubai. They will arrive on Spanish soil later this afternoon, arriving at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base at 4.45pm, according to government sources.

Two A400 military planes from Kabul landed in Dubai around 7am and the flights mark the end of the evacuation of the Afghan collaborators and their families.

Travelling on these final flights, were 81 Spanish embassy and military personnel, as well as 85 Afghanis who collaboratored with Spain, Portugal and NATO.

Spain, with three Air Force planes, and 140 military personnel, has evacuated some 2,000 people out of Afghanistan in a week. Last Saturday, the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, during a visit to the Torrejón air base in Madrid acknowledged the key role that Spain has played in the operation.

The Madrid base has become the "European reception centre" for Spanish collaborators and EU organisations. On Thursday, another 400 Afghans arrived in Torrejón, and they will remain at the base for about 72 hours before being relocated. Some 759 people have already been moved with Catalonia and Castilla y León being the regions that have welcomed the most refugees to date, with more than 100 each,

Several European partners (Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands) and NATO (Canada) have also announced this Friday they will also end their flights and complete the withdrawal of their troops. The reason given is the "real risk" of another attack on the Kabul airfield, which was hit by two explosions near the airport that left dozens dead on Thursday.