Afghanistan evacuation continues day after ISIS bomb kills 13 US troops and 90 Afghans


A group of American war veterans have made their way to Kabul to save their Afghan allies after watching Biden’s bungled evacuation from afar, with time running out before the last Western planes take off and the Taliban are left to reign supreme. 

The group of special op soldiers got into Kabul on Wednesday night after flying on commercial flights to nearby countries then making their own way into Afghanistan. Their mission was to save the Afghan Special Forces troops who helped the US in the war but who now face certain death if left behind to face the Taliban. 

The troops escorted them and their families to the airport in the cover of darkness, by-passing Taliban checkpoints, to get them onto planes. 

One of them said: ‘I just want to get my people out,’ after watching the catastrophic efforts by the US over the last two weeks.  Some of the Afghans were injured in yesterday’s twin suicide bomb attack but it’s unclear if any were killed.

The US has just four days to get as many s 1,000 Americans out plus another 5,000 Afghans who helped in the war.  

General Kenneth McKenzie, who is running the US operation on the ground in Kabul, warned on Thursday that another ISIS attack – specifically a car bomb similar to one used on Thursday – was imminent. 

The death toll from the attack at the airport is now 170. Thirteen US troops were killed, the first American lives lost since the evacuation carnage began on August 14.

Between Thursday and Friday, 35 US military planes evacuated 8,500 people. It’s unclear how many of them were America, how many were Afghan and how many were from third party countries. In total, 12,500 people were flown out of Kabul.   

A group of volunteer Afghanistan veterans smuggled into Kabul this week to save hundreds of Afghan Special Forces troops and their families by getting them to the airport to be put on flights out of the city. The men made their own way into Kabul after watching the bungled evacuation from afar. The ad-hoc group have been able to get more than 600 vulnerable Afghans to the airport to be put on flights

Afghan refugees are pictured on one of the flights out of Kabul after being escorted to the airport by a group of volunteer special ops veterans

Afghan refugees are pictured on one of the flights out of Kabul after being escorted to the airport by a group of volunteer special ops veterans

All evacuation flights must stop by Tuesday night and the US must start putting troops and equipment on the planes soon. 

It leaves a tiny window of opportunity for thousands of people who want to flee to get out, diminishing the hope of many Afghans who have not been given special interest visas and must now make a run for the border in Pakistan or stay and live under Taliban rule.   

One of the veterans who took part was a retired Green Beret known as Lawrence of Afghanistan. 

He told ABC News: ‘I have been involved in some of the most incredible missions and operations that a special forces guy could be a part of, and I have never been a part of anything more incredible than this.  

‘The bravery and courage and commitment of my brothers and sisters in the Pineapple community was greater than the U.S. commitment on the battlefield.”

‘I just want to get my people out.’ 

Retired SEAL Commander Dan O’Shea accompanied one man and his father on foot. 

‘He was not willing to let his father and his brother behind; even it meant he would die. He refused to leave his family. 

‘Leaving a man behind is not in our SEAL ethos. Many Afghans have a stronger vision of our democratic values than many Americans do.’  

U.S soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps in position guarding the at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug 27, 2021

U.S soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps in position guarding the at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug 27, 2021

U.S soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps in position guarding the at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug 27, 2021

U.S soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps in position guarding the at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug 27, 2021

This is the aftermath of Thursday's attack outside Kabul airport. 170 people were killed in the two bomb attacks and more are imminent, American generals warned

This is the aftermath of Thursday’s attack outside Kabul airport. 170 people were killed in the two bomb attacks and more are imminent, American generals warned 

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport

Discarded suitcases and debris outside the gate of the airport where one of the suicide bombs went off on Thursday, killing 170 people

Discarded suitcases and debris outside the gate of the airport where one of the suicide bombs went off on Thursday, killing 170 people

Clothes and blood stains of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated are seen at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs

Clothes and blood stains of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated are seen at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs

Relatives transport the coffin of one of the victims of the attack away from the airport on Friday morning

Relatives transport the coffin of one of the victims of the attack away from the airport on Friday morning

RACE TO EVACUATE FROM KABUL 

ONGOING EVACUATIONS 

US 

Russia 

Turkey 

FINISHING FRIDAY

Britain

France 

Denmark 

Spain 

Italy 

ALREADY FINISHED 

Canada

Poland

Holland

Norway

Germany

Australia 

Belgium

Sweden

Hungary 

Calling their mission Pineapple Express, the special ops volunteers flew commercially to countries surrounding Afghanistan then crossed land borders to get to the Afghan troops and their families who are still stuck. 

The men told ABC news that they managed to get to 500 people and escort them to the airport in Kabul before Thursday’s attacks. 

They were then turned over to US troops who put them on flights, they said. 

Before Thursday’s attack, another 130 were smuggled to the airport to be put on flights.

‘Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,’ Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander, told ABC.  

Western countries have been scrambling for the last two weeks to get their people out of Afghanistan before the deadline and their missions were hurried even more when President Joe Biden refused to extend it this week.

Thursday’s suicide attacks – which claimed the lives of 13 US troops and 90 Afghans – were the final nail in the coffin for many. 

Britain’s evacuation flights will finish on Friday, despite there being dual nationality citizens still stuck along with some allies. 

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Friday: ‘It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process. 

‘The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving. 

‘The narrative is always going to be, as we leave, certain groups such as ISIS will want to stake a claim that they have driven out the U.S. or the UK.’ 

Canada has also halted flights, leaving some citizens behind.

‘The government of Canada recognizes that there are a number of people in Afghanistan, including Canadian citizens, permanent residents, their families, and applicants under programs for Afghans, a government notice sent out last night, that was obtained by CBC News, said.

Gen. Wayne Eyre, the acting chief of the defense staff, said most of the Canadian personnel still in the country left but a small contingent stayed behind to support allies on the ground who have no hope of getting out. 

Biden – who crumbled under questioning on Thursday night when confronted with the airport attack death toll – refused to push back the deadline to give allied countries more time to get their people out. 

‘It is in our interest to leave on time, on target,’ Biden said on Thursday night. 

The US is relying on the Taliban’s cooperation to let people through to the airport. 

Afghan refugees arriving at the Rota Air Base in Spain on Friday. The airbase is shared by American and Spanish military forces

Afghan refugees arriving at the Rota Air Base in Spain on Friday. The airbase is shared by American and Spanish military forces 

President Joe Biden crumbled on Thursday night as he took questions from reporters about the suicide bomb attacks

President Joe Biden crumbled on Thursday night as he took questions from reporters about the suicide bomb attacks 

Crowds pack into the open sewer which runs around the airport perimeter just hours after it was the scene of carnage when a suicide bomber blew himself up

The scene of carnage after a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday

TODAY and YESTERDAY: Crowds pack into the open sewer which runs around the airport perimeter (left) just hours after it was the scene of carnage when a suicide bomber blew himself up 

British soldiers secure the perimeter outside the Baron Hotel, near the Abbey Gate, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The last British flights will leave today

British soldiers secure the perimeter outside the Baron Hotel, near the Abbey Gate, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The last British flights will leave today 

Only US citizens and visa holders are being removed, and in the next few days,  the focus will turn to removing troops and equipment.   

On Thursday, General Kenneth McKenzie, the commanding general on the ground, said he expected more bomb attacks at the airport, but that the mission would continue despite the threat. 

President Biden has been widely condemned for creating the crowds at the airport that ISIS attacked by failing to get everyone out of the region before withdrawing his troops abruptly earlier this year. 

It took just 11 days for the Taliban to sweep through the country that the US maintained peace in for nearly 20 years. 

Thousands of men, women and children are still trying to flee the Taliban, but their hopes are fading fast as the US and its allies are packing up their rescue operations ahead of the Tuesday deadline.

People are still pouring into the canal which surrounds the perimeter of the airport, standing in waters which were yesterday filled with the blood of scores of people after a bomb tore through the crowd.

Footage from the ground revealed a scene of utter despair, with shouts and cries among the Afghans, some seen clambering up walls out of the canal and others wading through with luggage atop their heads.

In one location, dozens of Taliban members with heavy weapons about 500 yards from the airport were preventing anyone from venturing forward. 



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