A leaked memo from a US Central Command official reportedly describes the housing situation of the Biden administration’s Afghan refugee camp at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as a “living hell” where rubbish, urine, faeces, spills and vomit cover the floors. “.
Hangar renovation. The letter states that they now have a rat problem.
The memo, sent last Friday by Special Surveillance Agent Colin Sullivan to State Department and Pentagon officials, was written with the title “Dreadful Conditions in Doha.”
US evacuation flights to the base were temporarily halted on the same day due to overcrowding.
A total of 57 coalition flights and 37 US military flights evacuated nearly 21,600 people from Kabul in the 24 hours through 3 a.m. this morning, according to White House figures released early Tuesday.
Since 14 August 58,700 people have been evacuated.
Al Udeid can accommodate approximately 10,000 people.
US military service personnel set up a facility to house refugees with generators and air conditioners. A leaked memo from last week indicated that the base in the desert had no air conditioners
Service personnel prepare to board the evacuees onto a C-17 aircraft at Al Udeid Air Force Base. The State Department said “more than 3,700” were sent to the United States, Germany and Italy after staying at Al Udeid.
The White House was touting a massive evacuation effort this week after President Joe Biden was widely criticized for leaving American and Afghan citizens at risk and Afghans who aided US forces and US military technology to the Taliban.
But the note he got Axios, indicates that the government was not prepared for the influx of people fleeing the armed group.
Sullivan included excerpts from “Contacts of Doha Embassy Staff” that described the dire conditions of Afghans who had fled the Taliban.
Hangars at Al Udeid Air Base filled with refugees late last week. The leaked memo claimed that at least one barn had a ‘rat problem’
“Another flight has arrived and there are no resources to solve the sanitation problem,” the letter said.
“These humans are in a living nightmare.”
The Biden administration has promoted massive evacuation efforts after bipartisan criticism
We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis [sic] It accumulates with every flight that lands in Doha.
One official described the conditions as “extremely hot” and “in the middle of a desert.”
Sullivan insisted he did not “underestimate the conditions in Kabul” or the conditions from which “Afghans are fleeing,” but noted that “the current conditions in Doha are of our own making.”
“I want to make sure that you all follow the ‘life-threatening humanitarian catastrophe’ fully,” he wrote to officials.
The ministry told Axios that the Pentagon has installed more than 100 latrines in the area and serves 7,000 traditional Afghan meals three times a day in an effort to improve conditions.
The State Department told DailyMail.com in a statement that it is “working quickly to relieve bottlenecks and is increasing the number of consular staff in Qatar, as well as expediting detection, to alleviate current conditions.”
A little girl waits with her family from Afghanistan aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster at Al Udeid Air Base
The Department of State and Department of Defense have been in incredibly close coordination at every level, along with the rest of the joint agencies, to spot these crossing points and make sure they are safe and have proper provisions for those being temporarily housed. We have also worked closely to address issues as they arise and improve conditions while being aware of concerns,” a State Department spokesperson said.
Leaked memo containing accounts of Al Udeid Air Base from Doha Embassy employees
“A wet day today. Where Afghans live is a living hell. Rubbish, urine, faeces, spills and vomit are covering the floors.”
“I spent an hour there collecting rubbish… I almost suffocated.”
“Another flight has arrived and there are no resources to solve the sanitation problem.”
“These humans are in a living nightmare.”
We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis [sic] It accumulates with every flight that lands in Doha.”
“Coop update. Now they have a rat problem.”
They said the ministry is trying to process the refugees to other destinations within a few days of their arrival.
But an anonymous government official told Axios that the State Department had not properly advised the Pentagon on refugee housing facilities.
They accused the department and the White House of “inadequate forward thinking and contingency planning.”
Udeid is the closest US staging area to Afghanistan.
US flights there were temporarily suspended on Friday – the same day Sullivan sent the memo – after they reached capacity and officials described it as a “humanitarian disaster”.
But domestically, the United States is looking to increase its absorption of Afghans after treating them in staging areas such as Al Udeid.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that about 25,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants are likely to be resettled in the United States with their relatives.
That number is just above the 22,000 small private cars that the Pentagon said would resettle last week.
Meanwhile, US military bases in Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas and New Jersey are increasing capacity to accommodate thousands of incoming refugees.
“Our facilities continue to build capacity rapidly as needed to ensure reception and delivery of humanitarian assistance,” Major General Hank Taylor said in a briefing with Kirby.
Taylor said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has authorized the addition of 18 more aircraft to speed up the process.
At the Wisconsin Army base at Fort McCoy, approximately 1,000 service members work across multiple units to provide adequate housing and support to refugees, at the local level. NBC Affiliate reports.
Al Qaeda began accepting Afghan refugees on Sunday and is sheltering the arrivals, their families and other vulnerable civilians.
At least 3,300 Americans have been evacuated since August 14. The Associated Press reported last week that as many as 15,000 US citizens remain in Afghanistan.