The German defense ministry said on August 20 it is deploying two H-145M helicopters to Afghanistan to support the mission to evacuate people from Kabul, which fell into the hands of the Taliban on August 14.
The helicopters, operated by Germany’s elite commando unit known as the KSK, will be tasked with transferring Afghans who collaborated with the former government and ally forces from all around Kabul to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Germany decided on such an operation to circumvent the Taliban checkpoints at the gates of the airport. Taliban previously said they would let everyone leave but have already started seeking out former government officials and Afghan interpreters. On August 19, the Taliban killed the relative a Deutsche Welle journalist they were hunting. Deutsche Welle also said the the group had raided the homes of several journalists working for the agency.
It is unclear whether the German defense ministry decision to deploy the light utility helicopters to Afghanistan was in any way related to that event.
Germany’s efforts to evacuate diplomats and Afghan locals are part of an international undertaking to help as many people as possible to flee the repressive Taliban regime. In a statement on Thursday, the Pentagon said it had flown 7,000 civilians out of Kabul since August 14, when the Taliban took control of the city.