A number of foreign contractors who helped power the logistics of America’s war in Afghanistan are now stranded in Dubai as the US continues its withdrawal from the war-torn country, according to a new report.
Those who worked as cleaners, cooks, construction workers, servers and technicians on US bases in Afghanistan are stuck in limbo at hotels across Dubai following a rushed evacuation from Afghanistan.
Many of those contractors are unable to get home to the Philippines and other countries due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka all stopped flights to the United Arab Emirates in May amid the surging Delta variant.
It is unclear exactly how many contractors remain stuck overseas following the evacuation.
An Associated Press journalist reported seeing at least a dozen Filipino contractors who worked for Texas-based construction company Fluor stranded at the Movenpick hotel in Bur Dubai.
The US military’s Central Command would not comment on private security contractors.
Thousands of contractors were upended following the US’ decision in April to start rapidly withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
There were still about 2,400 foreign contractors on US bases in Afghanistan as of early June.
It was down from the 6,300 who were there in April, according to data from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Experts say many have only been concerned about removing US troops and Afghan interpreters who could face revenge killings by the resurgent Taliban.
“About the stranded foreign workers, the Biden administration can say, well, their companies and their governments should have moved heaven and earth to get them home,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
It comes as the Taliban took control of six Afghan provincial capitals in a matter of days amid the ongoing US withdrawal.
Militants overran the northern cities of Sar-e Pul and Aibak after more than a week of resistance by Afghan security forces, Afghan officials said Monday.
Government forces have completely withdrawn from Sar-e Pul after several pro-government local militia commanders surrendered to the Taliban without a fight, said Mohammad Noor Rahmani, the council chief of the northern province.
Militants also seized Aibak, capital of Samangan province, without resistance, deputy governor Sefatullah Samangani told Agence France-Presse.
Due to the recent spate of violence in the country, the US Embassy in Afghanistan on Saturday urged all Americans to leave “immediately.”
“The US Embassy urges US citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options,” the embassy said.
“Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist US citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul.”
With Post wires