The Taliban has swept into Afghanistan’s capitol city, Kabul, and swiftly taken it over just days after President Biden said it wouldn’t happen.
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Taliban fighters took over checkpoints around the city after claiming Bagram Air Base on Sunday. This led to the release of “thousands of prisoners” including senior Al Qaeda operatives. Around 5,000 to 7,000 terrorists were released, according to reports.
Shocking video widely shared on social media purports to show desperate Afghanis clung to the side of a C-17 US military aircraft as it moved down the runway.
Tragically, additional videos allegedly show that same plane taking off – in the distance, what appears to be people can be seen falling from the sky.
Nearby residents shared disturbing images of some of those people who fell to their deaths after the desperate attempt to escape, crashing onto their rooftops.
Yet more tragic video emerged this morning that shows US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters attempting to clear the tarmac of desperate Afghanis as they attempt to flee.
This almost unbelievable, horrific scene comes just days after President Biden said the Taliban wasn’t a threat to take over Kabul. “It is not inevitable,” he said to a question about his intelligence team’s alleged finding that Kabul would fall if they pulled out.
Biden said at the time there’s “there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a Embassy of the United States from Afghanistan” when pressed about the Taliban’s advancements toward Kabul.
Those comments have turned out to be spectacularly wrong.
US military who worked side by side with Afghanis are understandably upset by what’s happening, with some suffering devastating personal loss. James Glancy, a former Marine commando, said the Afghans he was with back in February were executed outside their homes last week by the Taliban.
The country’s Western-trained security forces collapsed in a matter of days, even before the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops.
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.
Fearful that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights, thousands of Afghans are trying to flee the country through Kabul’s international airport.
Middle East Eye journalist Ragip Soylu reported a Taliban spokesman’s comments about their future rule. “We will allow women to leave the house alone” they allegedly said. “Punishments such as executions, stoning and amputation will depend on court ruling.”
A Taliban spokesman also told the AP that they would hold talks aimed at a more ‘open, inclusive Islamic government’.
Meanwhile, as those primitive sounding promises were being made, workers could be seen painting over murals of women.
Continue to pray for the people of Afghanistan.
Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.