Aug 26, 2021
By Jane Brown
Canada’s acting chief of defence staff has announced the mission in Afghanistan has ended.
General Wayne Eyre says the last flight carrying the vast majority of Canadian personnel left the airport Thursday.
The final Canadian military evacuation flight left Kabul airport about midnight Eastern Time, with an unknown number of Canadian and Afghan citizens still in the country.
General Eyre says his focus is now on the well-being of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who witnessed horrific situations and must now deal with the helplessness and guilt that comes from leaving people behind.
“We stayed in Afghanistan for as long as we could,” Eyre explained during a morning briefing, “We were amongst the last to cease evacuation operations. We wish we could’ve stayed longer and rescued everyone who was so desperate to leave. That we could not is truly heartbreaking.”
The final Canadian flight comes with the situation in Afghanistan said to be deteriorating hourly.
U.S. Intelligence warns Americans to stay clear of Kabul airport due to an unspecified threat, reportedly a risk of a suicide bombing by ISIS.
Citizens of Australia and Britain have also been told to leave the area immediately.
While campaigning in British Columbia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to somehow help Afghans left behind, once the current airlift ends.
U.S. President Biden is sticking with an August 31st deadline to withdraw American troops and equipment from Afghanistan, but 12 other countries, including Canada, have to leave first since the U.S. is leading the mission.