After video footage obtained by media sources showed Afghan evacuees living in inhumane conditions, Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby says the US is working to improve conditions for them at a US airbase hosting them.
Hundreds of Afghans were crammed into a hangar at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar. Afghan refugees in the airbase said they were being held in the blazing heat, where some individuals had passed out while waiting in long lines for food and water. Most of them did not have any spare clothes and had no idea where they were going.
In response to the reports, Kirby stated that no one was making excuses for the base’s conditions.
“Everybody’s focused on trying” to advance the conditions, Kirby stated on Tuesday.
In an internal email on Friday, a US Central Command (CENTCOM) official launched a scathing attack on the awful conditions and treatment of Afghan refugees at American-run facilities in Qatar.
Human waste and trash threatened to overflow the hangar where refugees were kept, as well as a rat infestation, according to the email, which had the subject line “Dire conditions at Doha.” It was sent to State Department and Pentagon officials, and it described the situation as “a life-threatening humanitarian disaster.”
“We recognize this is a challenging and difficult situation for these vulnerable individuals and families, and we remain committed to providing a secure, safe and sanitary environment,” William Urban, a spokesperson for CENTCOM said in response to the reports.
A spokesperson for the US Department of State told that the US is working to remove delays and has sent extra personnel to Qatar to ameliorate current situations. Staff at the US Embassy in Kabul have also strongly criticized the treatment of Afghan refugees at American-run facilities in the region.
Since August 14, the US and its allies have evacuated 70,000 individuals, many of whom have passed through Al Udeid airbase.