British forces at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul are collaborating with the Taliban, the UK Chief of Defence Staff Nick Carter told Sky News on Wednesday.
“We are collaborating with the Taliban on the ground and that seems to be a very straightforward relationship,” Carter said. “At the moment I think it’s very calm.”
“They are helping us at the airport,” he said.
Carter also said the Taliban were keeping the capital under control.
“They are keeping the streets of Kabul very safe and indeed very calm,” he said.
Carter's remarks contrast with what CNN teams and witnesses CNN has spoken to have seen on the ground.
They report a chaotic scene outside the airport, with thousands trying to make their way in, with no real clarity from the US or the Taliban as to how to do that.
A CNN reporter who was at the airport until 3 a.m. last night saw evidence of small numbers of Afghans inside the airport able to take the flights out, but earlier that afternoon, the same reporter witnessed crowds at every available gate to the north of the airport, and unable to get in.
The processing of SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) applicants is not expected to start before Wednesday or Thursday.