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Videos, photos from Afghanistan show just how desperate many are to be evacuated

Afghan evacuee Air Force
Posted at 9:28 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 16:10:11-04

Harrowing and heartbreaking videos from Afghanistan show just how desperate some are to keep their family members safe from the oppressive rule of the newly-in-power Taliban.

Video has surfaced from the capital city of Kabul in recent days that shows a child being passed atop perimeter walls outside of an airport.

One video sourced by CNN shows American military members atop a wall surrounding the airport in Kabul grabbing a baby from the crowd below and lifting the child above the razor wire topping the barrier.

During a Pentagon briefing on Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the parents of the child asked U.S. Marines to treat the child because the child was ill. The baby was treated by a medical professional and returned to its family.

Other videos that surfaced Thursday show people attempting to pass children and babies through a gate at the airport. Again, it's unclear what happened to the children.

Later on Thursday, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. tweeted a photo showing a young child sleeping on the floor of a plane while wrapped in an airman's jacket.

"To the outstanding Airmen who have worked tirelessly and selflessly over the last several days evacuating Afghans, Americans and the vulnerable, I want to personally thank you for your sacrifices and applaud your bravery," Brown tweeted alongside the photo.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan over the weekend after U.S.-backed President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Taliban fighters quickly took control of the presidential palace and deployed soldiers to patrol the streets of Kabul.

Thousands of Afghans — many of whom helped assist the military as translators — are now seeking escape from the country, fearing they will be killed or tortured due to their past opposition to the Taliban.

And while the Taliban has promised to become a more moderate ruling group than their oppressive reign in the 1990s, many Afghans remain skeptical of those promises. In fact, reports indicate that the Taliban has already killed minorities in the country and blown up statues of their religious opposition.

But as Afghans seek passage out of the country, the Department of Defense says it is conducting evacuations at less than full capacity. Taliban checkpoints and chaos at airport gates have limited the number of evacuees it's cleared to fly.

While the Pentagon estimates it can fly between 5,000 and 9,000 out of the country per day, the department reported Thursday that just 2,000 people had been evacuated in the last 24 hours.