U.S. evacuation flights from Afghanistan were paused for about eight hours Friday after the Qatar transit point reached maximum capacity with refugees.
A major question – when might the chaos ease?
On Friday, President Biden promised to bring home any American and Afghan who assisted the U.S. during its 20-year war. As many as 15,000 Americans and at least 60,000 Afghans remain as NATO forces work to extend the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.
“I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or if it will include loss,” Biden said. “As commander-in-chief, I can assure you I will mobilize every resource necessary.”
He went on to say there will be plenty of time to “second guess” his decision to pull out the U.S. military from Afghanistan. Biden reiterated the administration is focused on getting every American and Afghan ally safely on American soil.
Almost 18,000 people have evacuated since July, according to the President. However, numbers fluctuate by about 6,000 people depending on the news outlet doing the reporting.
The walls around Kabul’s airport reveal heartbreaking scenes where parents are handing over their babies to soldiers on the other side.
A desperate family hands their toddler over the fence at Kabul airport (Image: Screen shot from “Rise to Peace” video)
The Pentagon says one instance was simply an act of great compassion before returning the child to its father.
Troops conducting the evacuation fired warning shots to contain the crowds rushing to the airport. For some of the people, it’s their only hope of escaping Afghanistan as neighboring countries close their borders.
Islamic extremists were seen on Twitter brandishing U.S. weapons left behind in the evacuation. The Taliban is now flaunting a treasure trove of armored vehicles, helicopters, and drones left behind by the fleeing Afghan army.
The underground church there says the Taliban is also terrorizing civilians on the streets. Not only are they threatening refugees, but they’re also going door-to-door taking women and children as sex slaves.
Besides hunting for former Afghan interpreters and members of the military, according to numerous media reports, Taliban fighters are also targeting Christians.