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Pentagon removes more than 130,000 Afghanistan War photos and videos

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(Last Updated On: November 2, 2021)

The Pentagon has quietly removed a massive collection of Afghanistan War footage totaling more than 120,000 photos and 17,000 videos from its official visual record, Task and Purpose reported Monday.

The images and videos, which date back more than a decade, were previously published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, or DVIDS, a vast repository of public domain material that’s available for use by the public and the press.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Monday that he made the decision to temporarily archive any images and videos that could put Afghans in danger.

“My guidance was: I want any imagery that could be used to identify individuals and/or family members over the last 20 years of war; I wanted it to be unpublished for a temporary period of time, and it is temporary,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing. “It was done out of an abundance of caution.”

He said about 120,000 photographs and about 17,000 videos have been unpublished but he did not say when they would be reposted.

“We did not delete, but we took off publicly accessible platforms and archived for future republication at a later date,” Kirby said. “We removed thousands of still imagery and videos that would show the faces or any other identifiable information about many of the Afghans that we have worked for and we have supported and who have supported us over the last 20 years.”

As of Monday, there were approximately 86,000 images and 46,000 videos from Afghanistan remaining on DVIDS.

“This was an abundance of caution that we felt was necessary in keeping with our obligation to protect the identities of our Afghan allies and partners,” Kirby said.

“When we don’t feel that that need is there, then we will absolutely republish them.”

But Kirby described the effort to remove so many pictures and videos as a “mammoth undertaking” that took nearly two months; and he added: “The reason why I didn’t announce it was because we were in the middle of it and it wouldn’t make much sense to tell the world that we were archiving these images before we were done archiving them.”

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Turkish Airlines to resume Afghanistan flights

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

Turkish Airlines will resume flights to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan in March next year, it was reported this week.

Turkish Airlines operated from Istanbul to Kabul for more than a decade. Since the political change in Afghanistan in August last year, Turkish Airlines like many other foreign airlines have conducted no flights to Afghanistan.

But Turkish Airlines will return soon. Its first bookable flight to Kabul is on March 27th. However, its first bookable service from Kabul is on the 26th, aviation industry publication Simple Flying reported.

Like Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif is returning. Both outbound and inbound flights will be on March 29th.

Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation also said the country’s airports are ready for flights, and the services at the airports are according to international standards.

Imamuddin Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, said that Fly Dubai is also expected to resume flights to Afghanistan.

Economic experts say international flights will help trade to grow and increase revenues.

IEA announced earlier this month that they signed a contract with Abu Dhabi-based firm GAAC Solutions to provide flight services and manage planes landing and taking off at key airports in Afghanistan.

The flight guidance services deal will also include equipping the facilities and training of Afghan staff at the country’s three major airports, including Kabul.

The two other airports covered under the deal are in Herat and Kandahar.

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Door of negotiations is open to all countries including US: IEA

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

The Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mawlavi Abdul Kabir says the door of negotiations and understanding is open to all countries, including the United States.

Speaking in a meeting Sunday with a number of academic and scientific figures of the country, Abdul Kabir said that talks are open to all countries around the world, including the US.

The sharing of consultations from scientific personalities to improve the system is said to be one of the main goals of this meeting.

Abdul Kabir has also added that they have started consultations inside the country to bring reforms in the government body, and the leadership of the Islamic Emirate is aware of the sensitivities in the country.

In this meeting however a number of scientific figures of the country have called the constitution, national understanding and national and international belief in the government the most important necessity of the time.

The reopening of girls’ schools is one of the other suggestions of this board, which was emphasized in this meeting.

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IEA urges the world to lift sanctions on new govt of Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 2, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate once again urges the international community to lift sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan and also to remove the travel restrictions of the IEA officials.

According to IEA officials, the continuation of these sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan will increase the distance between the Islamic Emirate and the international community.

“The continuation of global pressure and sanctions on the new government of Afghanistan will increase the distance between the Islamic Emirate and the international community,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the IEA.

It has been more than a month since the travel exemption of 13 senior officials of the Islamic Emirate has ended and these officials cannot travel outside of Afghanistan.

The international community has always made the issue of imposing sanctions on the Islamic Emirate conditional on the establishment of a comprehensive government, the provision of human rights, especially the rights of women and girls, and the removal of terrorist threats from Afghanistan, emphasizing that it would not recognize the new government of Afghanistan until these conditions are fulfilled.

However, the Islamic Emirate has repeatedly emphasized that it has completed all the conditions of a legitimate government.

Although the UN Security Council held a meeting twice regarding the extension or rejection of travel exemptions for officials of the Islamic Emirate, but due to differences of opinion among the members of this council, both meetings ended without results.

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