The Pentagon acknowledged “what had been some terrible conditions” at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar where the US military has temporarily stationed thousands of evacuees from Afghanistan in the process of relocating people evacuating the country, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during a briefing on Tuesday.
“We are aware of and as concerned as anybody about what had been some terrible sanitation conditions at Qatar that were facilitated by the sheer numbers and the speed with which those numbers got there,” Kirby said. “We all recognize that, and nobody, nobody here wants anyone to be less than safe, secure comfortable and well cared for as they go through this process.”
There have been reports of unsanitary conditions at the Al Udeid Air Base.
Kirby said the conditions are “improving now,” but “they’re not” perfect. Kirby said the US military continues to try and identify other temporary locations where evacuees can be sent to “ease the pressure” at the Qatari base.
“We’ll be the first to admit that conditions at Al Udeid could have been better. They are improving now,” Kirby said. “I’m not going to stand up here and tell you that they’re perfect, because they’re not, because evacuees continue to flow into Qatar, and there’s a lot on the ground right now, and as the General said, we’re working hard to clear out that population so we can ease the pressure there and continue to move these people along the way to their new lives.”
An eight-hour pause in US military evacuation flights occurred Friday because the Al Udeid base had reached capacity. The US military determined more locations for evacuees to be sent temporarily in the process of relocating them, including Ramstein Air Base in Germany, locations in Italy, Spain and Bahrain, Kirby said.
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