People evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, disembark from a U.S Air Force transport plane after arriving at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, in Rota, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 31. 2021
A U.S. military plane landed Tuesday at Spain’s Naval Station Rota carrying 201 evacuees, including Afghans, who were among the last to leave Kabul following the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops, marking the end of a 20-year war.
After disembarking from the U.S. Air Force KC-19 aircraft, the refugees were seen entering a large hangar where members of the US military provided them with water and food. The new arrivals also were tested for the coronavirus.
Rota is currently supporting the U.S. State Department mission to facilitate the safe departure and relocation of U.S. citizens, special immigration visa recipients, and vulnerable populations from Afghanistan.
Evacuees are being temporarily housed at the base until they are taken to the United States.
At Rota military base Tuesday, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Ben Reynolds highlighted the sacrifice made by Afghan evacuees.
“They have left their entire lives behind, fleeing a desperate situation and relying on the compassion of strangers, of these people from a faraway land,” he said.
A plane carrying about 350 Afghan contractors and their relatives is expected to depart soon from Rota to the United States.
Madrid and Washington agreed the Spanish bases of Moron and Rota, where the U.S. has military facilities, would be used to host up to 4,000 Afghans who have worked for the United States.
Under the deal reached between U.S. President Joe Biden and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the Afghans can stay in Spain for up to two weeks before being transferred to their next destination.

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