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Americans stranded in Kabul can’t get to the airport as Taliban grows more threatening


Americans and Afghans stranded in Kabul can’t get to the airport to board US planes and are receiving no help on the ground from the 4,500 American troops there, who are stuck inside the airport surrounded by the increasingly threatening Taliban outside.  

The Taliban has already started to abandon its promise of peace by rounding up thieves, smacking and shooting people in the streets and parading enemies with ropes round their necks in a sinister display of their sudden control since the departure of American forces earlier this summer. 

In the meantime, tens of thousands of Americans, Afghans and other nations’ civilians remain stranded there, desperate to get out, but are unable to get to the airport – the last ‘safe’ place – because the terrorist group’s fighters are controlling the streets with checkpoints. 

To get through the checkpoints, they must display certain paperwork and many don’t yet have it from the State Department. Others are too afraid to present themselves to the armed Taliban fighters. 

The flights that are leaving are taking off with woefully low passenger counts given the ongoing crisis. 

Flights bound for Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, France and Italy – which between them have vowed to rescue thousands of people – have been taking off with just a few dozen people on board despite having capacity to take hundreds. In one shocking case, a German plane with room for 150 departed Kabul on Tuesday with just seven on board.

Overnight, the US only put 2,000 people on 18 C-17 planes – an average of 110 per flight. C-17s have been used to transport more than 600 people out of typhoons before, and one took off on Sunday with 640 Afghans on board because the crew decided not to leave them behind. 

There are at least 11,000 US citizens still stuck in Afghanistan and tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the US in the war and are trying to get Special Immigrant Visas to be removed before the Taliban ditches its goodwill and kills them. 

There are now thought to be around 50,000 people – mostly Afghans – gathered outside two entrances to Hamid Karzai airport – the civilian south side and military north side, both of which are under Taliban control.

US troops controlling the military side fired warning shots into crowds on Tuesday night to stop the increasingly desperate people from overrunning the airfield again.  In the last 24 hours; 

  • The Taliban started abandoning its promise of peace and is now parading ‘thieves’ through the streets with ropes around their necks, smacking and shooting people and rounding up enemies
  • 18 C-17 jets arrived and the total number of US troops at the airport rose to 4,500, including 1,300 Marines 
  • US jets only removed 2,000 people – 325 were American and at least 11,000 Americans remain stranded
  • Other jets from the UK, Spain, Italy and Australia left with less than half of their seats full 
  • The Taliban has set up checkpoints around the airport and there are reports they are blocking people from getting through 
  • The State Department told US citizens to make their own way to the airport, with no promise of help getting there
  • Joe Biden returned to the White House but he has not scheduled any kind of Afghanistan update 
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley will speak at 3pm  

This is the scene at the city entrance to the airport in Kabul. It is being controlled by the Taliban and US forces are on the inside but the people waiting to fly out can’t get through the fighters at the front, and are being given no help by the State Department 

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The group is becoming increasingly violent, abandoning promises to be peaceful, and their cooperation is what the evacuation mission is relying on

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The group is becoming increasingly violent, abandoning promises to be peaceful, and their cooperation is what the evacuation mission is relying on 

The Taliban turned on the crowd at Kabul airport on Tuesday, driving the hundreds back from the airport perimeter as they pushed to flee the country. They had promised to be peaceful but have already given up on it

The Taliban turned on the crowd at Kabul airport on Tuesday, driving the hundreds back from the airport perimeter as they pushed to flee the country. They had promised to be peaceful but have already given up on it 

A young woman was shot dead for allegedly refusing to wear a hijab by marauding jihadists when they captured the northern town of Taloqan in Takhar province last week. She is seen lying in a pool of blood as her distraught parents crouch beside her body in an image shared by the Afghan Ambassador to Poland Tahir Qadry who denounced the ‘butchering of civilians.’

A man cries as he watches fellow Afghans get wounded after Taliban fighters use gunfire, whips, sticks and sharp objects to maintain crowd control over thousands of Afghans who continue to wait outside Kabul airport for a way out

A man cries as he watches fellow Afghans get wounded after Taliban fighters use gunfire, whips, sticks and sharp objects to maintain crowd control over thousands of Afghans who continue to wait outside Kabul airport for a way out

A Taliban fighter patrols in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Americans cannot get to the airport, which is surrounded by Taliban fighters, and the only area where troops are is inside

A Taliban fighter patrols in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Americans cannot get to the airport, which is surrounded by Taliban fighters, and the only area where troops are is inside 

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

Taliban fighters have now encircled the airport in Kabul and are deciding who gets to come in and who has to stay out. Checkpoints have been set up on both the civilian south side of the airport and the military north side, with gunshots fired in both locations to keep crowds back

On Wednesday morning, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby – who has become the government face of the crisis in President Joe Biden’s continued absence – dodged questions about the collection of failures, claimed repeatedly that the airport itself was safe but admitted it was down to the Taliban to let people through and said he didn’t even know how many Americans remained in the country. 

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby briefed reporters over the phone on Wednesday and admitted he hoped getting people to the airport would go more 'smoothly'

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby briefed reporters over the phone on Wednesday and admitted he hoped getting people to the airport would go more ‘smoothly’ 

‘We’re not unaware that there has been issues out in town and harassment of individuals, that’s one of the reasons we’re in touch with the Taliban to try to make sure that doesn’t happen. 

‘We’re working very hard to make sure that they can get through safely to be processed. 

‘I don’t have a specific next step. We are in communication with the Taliban. 

‘We want to see this go more smoothly, we want to see this go faster,’ he said when asked about how people should get to the airport.

Kirby admitted that he didn’t know how many Americans were still stuck in Kabul and said he ‘couldn’t predict’ how many would leave overnight. 

‘I cant tell you the numbers of people coming and going. 

‘Our force flow gets smaller as we get more troops on the field. 

THE EMPTIEST FLIGHTS OUT OF KABUL

Germany: Airbus A-400M with space for 150 people, departed Tuesday with 7 on board

Australia: Hercules C-130 with space for 120 people, departed Wednesday with 26 on board

Netherlands: Boeing C-17 with space for 150 people, departed Tuesday with 40 on board

France: Airbus A400M with space for 150 people, departed Tuesday with 41 on board

Italy: Boeing KC767 with space for up to 200 people, departed Monday with 70 on board

Spain:  Airbus A-400M with space for 150 people, departed Wednesday with unknown number on board – though officials earlier said just 25 embassy staff had made it to the airport

 

‘I cant predict how many people will be evacuated,’ he said. 

Kirby also claimed the effort was ‘working’, despite US troops resorting to firing their weapons at the military entrance to the gate on Tuesday night to control the increasingly desperate crowds. 

Between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning, only 2,000 people were taken out of Afghanistan on US jets – 3,000 fewer than the Pentagon’s daily goal of at least 5,000. 

There are at least 11,000 Americans in Afghanistan who are yet to be removed.

Only 325 of the people removed overnight were American. 

Faziya Nematy, a New York resident who visited Afghanistan in July and has become stuck, said on Wednesday there was no way for her to get to the airport with her son. 

‘I, myself, am stuck here. I’m a U.S. citizen, can’t even get out, have my kids here.

‘There’s no help here, there’s not one single American troop here. Now this whole thing is just full of people,’ she told WRGB.  

The father of one Colorado family has told how his wife and daughters are hiding out, unable to get to the airport.

The wife and kids are Afghan natives but now have American citizenship. 

They were visiting family and have now become stuck.  

‘My wife and daughters are, for now, hiding in a house in Kabul. 

‘I think it’s chaos. There are a lot of lives in danger. She called me on Saturday night, crying that the Taliban are all over the city and she wanted to get out,’ the man, who did not want to give his name said in an interview with Fox 31. 

 My wife and daughters are, for now, hiding in a house in Kabul. ‘I think it’s chaos. There are a lot of lives in danger

Panicked by the sudden fall of Kabul to the Islamists, the father booked a flight home from Kabul for his wife and children on Sunday, but it was cancelled hours before it was due to depart.

‘Around midnight, I got a text message from Turkish Airlines saying that her flight got cancelled. We can’t have what was going on [on Monday], people holding on to airplanes and things like that.’  

Afghanistan veterans are also pleading for the safe evacuation of some of the translators and interpreters they worked with when they were there. 

On Tuesday, the State Department started telling some Americans to make their own way to the airport and that they couldn’t help them or guarantee their safety on the way.   

U.S. Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, arrives at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan August 17, 2021. He is in charge of negotiating with the Taliban to let people through to the airport

U.S. Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, arrives at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan August 17, 2021. He is in charge of negotiating with the Taliban to let people through to the airport 

There are now 4,500 troops on the ground at the airport in Kabul including 1300 marines but the people outside the airport walls can't get to them safely and there is no presence in the town of any US military

There are now 4,500 troops on the ground at the airport in Kabul including 1300 marines but the people outside the airport walls can’t get to them safely and there is no presence in the town of any US military 

Inside the airport, soldiers are helping those who have been able to get through and are putting them on flights but outside, it is total chaos run by the Taliban

Inside the airport, soldiers are helping those who have been able to get through and are putting them on flights but outside, it is total chaos run by the Taliban

This is the message Americans in Kabul and at risk Afghans are receiving, telling them to make their own way to the airport

This is the message Americans in Kabul and at risk Afghans are receiving, telling them to make their own way to the airport

Planes from other countries have been leaving half empty while Afghan women and refugees beg and cry for help at the gates, only to be ignored. 

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Wednesday morning that he didn’t know how many Americans were still in Afghanistan, and he couldn’t ‘predict’ how many would be removed on planes in the next 24 hours. 

He skirted the blame for people not being allowed through the checkpoints and claimed the rescue mission was ‘working’ despite the shortage of flights. 

‘We believe an important obligation to help get as many people out of Afghanistan as we can… our focus right now is on the airport and making sure the airport stays a safe and secure place where people can flow in and out of. 

‘It is working. We had another 300 plus American citizens go out over the last 24 hours. 

‘In that respect it’s working we are continuing to have communication with the Taliban about making sure we can continue that flow and special immigrant visa applicants are included in it,’ he said. 

Kirby has been the face of the crisis while President Joe Biden keeps a low profile. 

He returned to the White House on Tuesday night from Camp David and is due to give a COVID-19 speech this afternoon but has not made any public statement since his speech on Monday where he claimed he made the right decision withdrawing troops.

Women were filmed pleading with US troops that the 'Taliban are coming' in footage that appeared to have been taken at Kabul airport this morning as thousands of desperate Afghans try to flee Islamist rule

Women were filmed pleading with US troops that the ‘Taliban are coming’ in footage that appeared to have been taken at Kabul airport this morning as thousands of desperate Afghans try to flee Islamist rule

Footage shows an alleged car thief with his face covered in black tar and strapped up to the back of a truck, with his hands tied behind his back as people gather around to gawp.

A traffic cop stands nearby and waves through traffic, seemingly unperturbed by the commotion around the accused man.

Footage shows an alleged car thief with his face covered in black tar and strapped up to the back of a truck, with his hands tied behind his back as people gather around to gawp.



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