The United States began preparations for the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan in the spring, said Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin.
“We began to consider the possibility of evacuating non-combatants in the spring. By the end of April the staff officers prepared a set of evacuation scenarios,” RIA Novosti quoted Austin as saying.
According to him, by the time the operation was officially announced, forward units of the Marine Corps were already at the Kabul airport, which were supposed to ensure the removal of civilians.
“We planned to take out 70 to 80 thousand people, and we evacuated more than 124 thousand,” Austin said.