Italy to airlift 500 Afghan refugees to Rome

New airlift part of “incessant work” by Italian military says defence minister.

Italy is preparing to carry out a new airlift of Afghan refugees to Rome, comprising 500 former ‘collaborators’ of the Italian armed forces, such as translators, and their families.

The news was announced over the weekend by Italy’s defence minister Lorenzo Guerini who hailed the “incessant and silent” work of the Italian army since Kabul fell to the Taliban in August.

  • Italy continues to airlift Afghan refugees to Rome

Guerini said the Aquila Omnia-Bis airlift operation is the result of the “strong collaboration” between the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and the interior and the information services”, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The Afghan families set to be welcomed by Italy will come from neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, with more arrivals expected in the coming weeks, according to Italian media.

  • Afghan Girl: Italy welcomes Sharbat Gula

The move follows the arrival in Rome last week of Sharbat Gula, known around the world as the ‘Afghan Girl’ thanks to her National Geographic portrait by Steve McCurry.