Pentagon Forces Commercial Airlines to Fly Afghan Evacuees

The Pentagon said Sunday it had ordered a rarely used program that forces commercial airlines to be used in times of a national emergency, activating 18 civilians airlines to help evacuate Afghans from Europe and the Middle East.

The orders to the commercial airlines, only the third time in 70 years, came as part of U.S. effort to ramp up the evacuation as thousands of Afghans crowd Taliban-controlled streets around the international airport in Kabul and fear of a terrorist attack.

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