Few images of the fall of Afghanistan will be as emotionally charged as the ones contained in this video shot at Kabul’s Karzai International Airport, currently the headquarters of U.S. evacuation operations. The video shows terrified Afghans clinging to the exterior of an outbound plane that is readying for takeoff. It’s as if the citizens, mindful of the bleak fate that awaits them now that their country is totally under the Taliban’s control, are pleading with the pilot, “Please, take us with you. Don’t leave us behind!”
This is, perhaps, one of the saddest images I’ve seen from #Afghanistan. A people who are desperate and abandoned. No aid agencies, no UN, no government. Nothing. pic.twitter.com/LCeDEOR3lR
— Nicola Careem (@NicolaCareem) August 16, 2021
Against this horrific backdrop, the Wall Street Journal reports, the situation grows ever more chaotic. Early today, U.S. troops, overseeing the massive airlift, shot and killed two armed men who had numbered at least two civilians and appeared intent on firing on the troops when they were taken out. It is unclear who the shooters were or what their ultimate goal was.
A second report in the form of a tweet from CNN‘s Kaitlan Collins notes that the U.S. military has suspended air operations altogether “while troops try to clear the airfield of Afghans who flooded the tarmac. … Biden’s national security advisers have made clear this a.m. they don’t consider the airport secure right now.”
The US military has suspended air operations at the Kabul airport while troops try to clear the airfield of Afghans who flooded the tarmac, per @barbarastarrcnn. Biden's national security advisers have made clear this a.m. they don't consider the airport secure right now.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 16, 2021
Other Afghans, desperate to hitch a ride for safety, have clinged to the fuselage of departing Air Force jets only to be crushed under the plane’s wheels or to fall to their deaths.
Chaotic scenes as Afghans attempt to cling to US Air Force plane departing from Kabul
Latest: https://t.co/eRDvQGay6B pic.twitter.com/moOTTuxoF9
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 16, 2021
Conditions beyond the airport are no better. As the Daily Wire notes:
Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AK) office told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman that his office is receiving calls from United States citizens trapped behind Taliban checkpoints, even as the U.S. State Department is demanding the Taliban allow foreign nationals to leave the country.
Among those at the airport waiting to be evacuated or some 4,000 American interpreters of Afghan.