Australian troops to be sent to Afghanistan amid Taliban takeover
The Australian Defence Force will deploy 250 troops to Afghanistan, after the Taliban marched on the capital Kabul yesterday.
A KC-30A departed for Australia’s main operating base, but there is no clarity as to whether the plane can safely land in the country, after thousands of Afghanis and foreign nationals swarmed Kabul airport, desperate to secure passage out.
Former Veterans Affairs Minister Darren Chester told Perth LIVE’s Oliver Peterson, it’s been a distressing day.
“It’s with enormous sadness I think, as Australians, we view what’s occurred in the last 24 to 48 hours in Afghanistan,” he said.
“I can understand why people will be distressed by this, I encourage any of our veterans to make sure you get in touch with your mates, get in touch with your unit association, talk to RSL WA or Open Arms, if you need a bit of a hand to try and rationalise what’s going on, at the moment.
“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the people of Afghanistan on this very troubling day.”
Mr Chester visited the Aussie troops in the country twice, when they were training local forces to ensure a peaceful transition, when Allied Forces withdrew.
“I’m not sure what’s gone wrong there, I’m not sure how the Taliban managed to charge through so many cities in a short amount of time,” he said.
“It seems to me to have been some sort of failure of intelligence here, to suggest it would take months before they get to Kabul.
“The Australians who served there, 39,000 Australians over 20 years – 41 brave Australians died in conflicts in Afghanistan, my thoughts are with them today, and their families who still grieve for them.
“And all those Australians who served with great distinction, this should not in any way diminish their service.”
Press PLAY to hear Darren Chester’s full interview