'Dunkirk By WhatsApp': UK Efforts Continue To Rescue Stranded Afghan Allies

Fifteen UK crisis response specialists have been deployed to neighbouring countries in new efforts to rescue more UK allies.

After the end of the UK evacuations of British nationals and Afghan civilians who worked for the UK and their families, the Government is continuing its efforts more indirectly.

It is now offering assistance to an estimated 800 to 1,100 Afghans who couldn't get on RAF flights after the fall of Kabul and are now having to negotiate with the Taliban to secure their passage out of Afghanistan.

To help aid in this transition, 15 UK crisis response specialists have been deployed to three neighbouring countries. 

Officials will try to make direct contact with eligible people to discuss their plans – and, where possible, offer assistance.

These new efforts are being spearheaded by the Prime Minister's special representative for Afghan transition, Simon Gass, who has travelled to Doha.

Mr Gass is now talking directly to senior Taliban representatives about 'the importance' of allowing people safe passage out of Afghanistan.

Watch: How are the military and veterans helping Afghan refugees in the UK?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that if the Taliban regime wanted diplomatic recognition and aid funding, they would have to ensure "safe passage" for those who want to leave.

And in a joint statement with the US and more than 90 other countries, it was confirmed that the Taliban had said anyone who wished to leave the country could do so.

The joint statement said: "We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorisation from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country."

It comes after 15,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan by UK troops over the course of nearly two weeks in Operation Pitting, which is believed to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.

British ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow, who had remained in the country and relocated the embassy to Kabul airport to process as many evacuees as possible, arrived back in the UK on Sunday.

He vowed to continue to help British nationals and Afghans who remain in the country and still need help.

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.

Cover image: Fifteen thousand people were evacuated from Afghanistan by UK troops over the course of nearly two weeks in Operation Pitting (Picture: MOD).