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NYT Details Chaos That Unfolded After Afghans Were Evacuated to Doha

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  • Conditions in Doha for refugees were described as “tense” and “hot,” according to a report by The New York Times.
  • Some flights didn’t have manifests or had incomplete manifests, The Times reported
  • Only 40,000 of 120,000 Afghan evacuees have made it to the United States.

Military and government officials in Doha, Qatar, experienced a chaotic reception of thousands of Afghan refugees including “rogue” flights and rough conditions, The New York Times reported, citing US State Department emails.

Many refugees were sent to Doha because Qatar was the first country to open its doors to those fleeing the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. The Times reports that refugees were housed at the Al Udeid Air Base, which houses an international range of air forces, and the US Army’s Camp As Sayliyah.

Daily emails sent from Doha on behalf of top military and diplomat officials in the region, obtained by The Times, along with interviews and other documents from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, paint a state of disorder in the Times’ report.

Zainullah Zaki, an Afghan veteran of the war who fought with the US Marines and aided the US Army, told The Times that conditions were “not good” at the military base in Doha. He described having to sleep on the floor without blankets or pillows with his wife and children.

The report describes fights breaking out and “tension” among refugees within the temporary shelters.

The Times also reports that there were “rogue” chartered flights that didn’t have manifests — or at least not complete ones.

“There are multiple other ‘rogue’ flights that are seeking the same permissions” to land, officials from the US Department of State said via email obtained by The Times. “We have 300 people in Doha now who are basically stateless. Most have no papers.”

Biden called the withdrawal an “extraordinary success” on Tuesday after evacuating more than 120,000 people.

Over 100 children have arrived in the US without parental accompaniment, the US Department of State told The Times.

So far, only 40,000 have made it to the United States, according to the report. Of those 40,000, only 22% are American. Another 15,000 are set to arrive by next Friday, the report says. 

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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