About 450 U.S.-trained Afghan pilots who fled to Uzbekistan after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, are now being flown from the Uzbek camp to the United Arab Emirates amid fears of retaliation by the Taliban.
A pilot told Reuters that they feared being killed if sent back to Afghanistan. Although, the terror group claimed they would not carry out reprisal killings after seizing control of the country in August.
The pilots, the most reviled members of the Afghan military who played pivotal roles in airstrikes against Taliban fighters, are being transported out of Uzebekistan, according to the New York Times.
It was also reported that Forty-six Afghani aircraft, including Blackhawk helicopters and attack planes, are currently on Uzebek soil – the pilots flew them out of the country to safety when Kabul collapsed last month.
‘I’m very happy they’re getting out, but this was not a smooth process,” Texas Representative August Pfluger, a Texas Republican who became involved in the transfer when he was contacted by a constituent married to one of the pilots, said to the Times.
‘The pilots were the most lethal part of the Afghan military, and it’s very important to do whatever we can to protect them.’