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U.S. desperate for countries to house Afghan refugees

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By Jenny Goldsberry

President Biden met with officials from Kosovo and Albania recently in an attempt to encourage more countries to take in Afghan refugees. These negotiations to house thousand of Afghanis who helped the US during the past 20 years have been secret. Four U.S. officials confirmed the meetings to Reuters.

Already, Operation Allies Refuge reported 1,200 Afghans have been resettled in the United States. But they expect a total of 3,500.

There are 400 SIV applicants whose visas are in the final stages of processing, according to Reuters. Reports have suggested that many have arrived in recent days at the start of an evacuation effort dubbed “Operation Allies Refuge.” That operation may include as many as 50,000 people or more, Reuters reported.

Then, Biden publicly met with officials from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the matter. Yet no agreements have been struck. One official confirmed that the deal to house 8,000 Afghans in Qatar is nearly finished.

Two additional sources claimed countries are hesitating to take in the Afghans they’re concerned about COVID-19 health screenings. These screenings take place before refugees board the plane and the worry is the results will be inaccurate. The same concerns translate to security vettings.

Meanwhile, the embassies of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kosovo and Albania did not respond to Reuter’s requests for comment.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Taliban Holds Parade for 250 Newly Trained Soldiers with American-Made Weapons Left Behind

As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.

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On Sunday, Taliban forces held a very bone-chilling parade showing off their captured American-made armored military vehicles and Russian helicopters. The act was “a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army” writes CNN.

The Taliban are no longer terror insurgents fighting against American forces that had once freed Afghanistan from the Taliban. As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.

The parade was part of a graduation for 250 newly trained Taliban soldiers, said defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi. CNN reports, “The exercise involved dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American-made M4 assault rifles.”

Tragically, much of the weaponry taunted in the parade by Taliban forces were supplied by the United States to the American-backed government in Kabul during the past two decades. The equipment was to aid an Afghan national force and make it capable of fighting the Taliban.

As forces fled Afghanistan, some of the military equipment provided by western forces was flown into Central Asian Countries in an attempt to avoid it landing in the hands of the Taliban. It remains unclear exactly how much of what did end up in Taliban control is still operational.

American troops destroyed over 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, as well as disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul during the frenetic evacuation. CNN reports “Taliban officials have said that pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force, which has also started wearing conventional military uniforms in place of the traditional Afghan clothing normally worn by their fighters.”

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