Over 200 Afghans, mostly former interpreters who worked with the American government during its twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan, landed for resettlement in the US on Friday.
The first flight evacuating Afghan interpreters and others who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan has landed at Washington Dulles International Airport in the US.
The US-based Associated Press news agency said an airliner carrying the 221 Afghans, including 57 children and 15 babies touched down at Washington Dulles International Airport in the early morning hours of Friday.
The evacuation flights, resettling former translators and others who fear retaliation from Afghanistan’s Taliban for having worked with US officials and civilians, are highlighting American uncertainty about how Afghanistan’s government and military will fare after the US and NATO pullout and amid the Taliban's offensive.
Family members are accompanying the interpreters and others on the flights out.
They were expected to stay at Fort Lee, Virginia for several days, US officials said earlier this month.
Subsequent flights are due to bring more of the applicants who are farthest along in the process of getting visas, having already won approval and cleared security screening.
The fear of revenge attacks has driven as many as 18,000 Afghans who worked for the US military to apply for Special Immigration Visas to the United States.
In Washington and in NATO capitals, there is a growing demand to evacuate Afghans who worked with the military.
The US has promised it will move quickly on thousands of special visa requests.