An American mother is begging President Joe Biden (pictured at an event Monday) to help citizens trapped in Afghanistan get home. She pleaded: ‘We are in danger. We are in danger Mr. President, please help us’
An American woman stranded in Kabul is begging Joe Biden to help her get back home to her children in the United States as the president rejected pleas from G7 allies to extend the evacuation beyond the August 31 withdrawal deadline.
‘We are in danger. We are in danger Mr. President, please help us,’ the mother, identified by the pseudonym Fatima, pleaded.
It comes as the U.S. ramped up airlifts by evacuating 21,600 people in the last 24 hours from Kabul airport, which remains besieged by thousands of desperate Afghans trying to flee the Taliban.
The militant group said it will not tolerate delay to the withdrawal for troops leaving and warned of ‘consequences’ if the U.S. doesn’t keep to its August 31 deadline. This means there are now seven days to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan.
Fatima is just one of an unknown number of Americans who remains trapped in the country. Officials say they do not know exact number of citizens that still need to be flown out – and now time is rapidly running out.
Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel used a G7 meeting to urge Biden to keep the operation going longer, however, White House sources confirmed Tuesday that the president had instead agreed with the Pentagon that there would be no change to the timeline of the mission.
Even Democrats, including U.S. House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff has said it is ‘unlikely’ that everyone who needs to be rescued would leave the Taliban-run country before Biden’s deadline.
The woman has described the evacuation process as lacking guidance and being full of miscommunication. She also says its nearly impossible to get to the airport in Kabul (pictured above on Tuesday as thousands wait to flee Afghanistan)
An aerial picture taken Monday shows crowds and traffic outside the Kabul airport as Americans and Afghan allies attempt to flee Afghanistan
‘We are stranded at home,’ Fatima told Fox News. ‘We can’t get to the airport. When we try to get to the airport, we either get beaten up or we are afraid for our lives.’
Fatima said she, like many others, has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States government asking for assistance, only to be told officials would ‘likely ‘escalate’ the situation on the ground’.
However, she fears help cannot come quick enough.
‘This needs to get better and this needs to get better faster because we are running out of time,’ she said.
‘Our lives are in extreme danger and I don’t know how long it’s going to continue. [The Taliban] are going to people’s homes at night and they are just taking them away.’
Fatima, whose two children remain stateside, says the evacuation process has lacked guidance, noting that there is ‘a lot of miscommunication going on’.
‘Imagine being stranded in the situation like this and not receiving anything for three, four days from U.S. embassy or the State Department,’ Fatima explained.
‘And then they’re saying to go to the airport, but we’re not being given clear guidance. They are saying one thing and the next day they come and say something else. So you really exactly don’t know what to do.’
A military plane takes off from the airport on Monday. Washington pulled off its biggest haul of evacuations since the crisis started over the last 24 hours to early Tuesday morning, with 37 military jets evacuating 21,600 people from Kabul
The Taliban, whose fighters are pictured above in a vehicle patrol the streets of Kabul on Monday, is refusing to extend the evacuation deadline
Fatima does not know if she will make it out of Afghanistan or see her children again.
‘I can’t talk to my kids [on the phone] anymore because I don’t know, it makes my fear worse,’ she said.
‘I am afraid for my life. … I don’t know, you know, how things are going to go. But I really need — I really need our president to really consider this serious.’
Biden joined other G7 leaders on a virtual call Tuesday morning for an emergency meeting on Afghanistan amid intense pressure from NATO and world leaders for the U.S. to keep their troops on the ground and prevent a humanitarian disaster.
However, the president has since accepted a Pentagon recommendation to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan by an Aug. 31 deadline. Biden also asked for contingency plans to stay longer, should it be necessary.
The Pentagon recommendation reflects increasing security concerns at the Kabul airport, where American citizens and at-risk Afghans are being evacuated.
Washington is telling the Taliban the Aug. 31 deadline is contingent on the group’s cooperation in facilitating evacuations.
The Pentagon has told Biden the risks to American forces are too high if they defy the Taliban. It means troops will have to abandon the humanitarian operation and start focusing on their own exit plan as soon as tomorrow.
The president said last week that he will keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan past the impending deadline for complete withdrawal if necessary to continue evacuating as many Americans as possible.
‘If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out,’ Biden told ABC News in an interview taped at the White House Wednesday.
Taliban leaders, however, have refused an extension.
‘We will not extend the deadline for the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan,’ Myjahid said in a Tuesday press conference. ‘They are capable of evacuating their citizens and troops by August 31.’
The group also warned of ‘consequences’ if the U.S. crosses that ‘red line’ and Tuesday doubled-down on its threat, telling foreign nations: ‘Don’t encourage Afghans to leave.’
Biden will address the nation at 12pm on Tuesday, with the White House indicating Monday that his decision on the deadline would be made in the next 24 hours to give the military time to prepare.
It comes as it was reported that CIA Director William Burns went to Kabul on Monday for a secret meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar. The discussions likely involved the August 31 deadline for all U.S. military presence to be out of Afghanistan – including ending the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies.
Taliban fighters stand on top of containers doing crowd control outside the Kabul airport
‘This is a hostage situation on a massive scale’: Hannity blasts Joe Biden for capitulating to Taliban and warns that ‘many of our fellow Americans are behind enemy lines’
Sean Hannity condemned President Joe Biden for creating ‘a hostage situation on a massive scale’ over plans to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31 despite warnings that not all Americans will be rescued.
The US says it’s difficult to count the number of US citizens still in Afghanistan, since not all of them registered with the embassy. Meanwhile, Taliban leaders have also indicated they’ll run out of patience with evacuation efforts if they continue beyond August 31.
‘Now, it’s our responsibility to find them,’ National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday.
Hannity’s comments came after US House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff revealed it was ‘unlikely’ that everyone who needed to be rescued would leave the Taliban-run country before Biden’s deadline.
Rescue efforts became increasingly urgent Tuesday as Spain warned it would have leave people behind and France said it would stop airlifts on Thursday – five days before the deadline – if the U.S. could not secure an extension.
But despite the new urgency, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, who is chair of the House Intelligence Committee, warned that Biden is ‘unlikely’ to get all US citizens and their allies out by the deadline.
He told reporters after a committee meeting Monday that a full evacuation was ‘possible’ but ‘very unlikely given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIV’s, the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders.’
The Biden Administration was blasted by Fox News Host Sean Hannity in wake of the situation. Hannity blamed the president for creating ‘a hostage situation on a massive scale’.
‘Our fellow Americans are behind enemy lines and the hard Taliban deadline is approaching in eight days. A horrific crisis, no end in sight,’ Hannity said on his show Monday night, noting that the speed of the rescue efforts is falling short.
‘Every American who wants to get home can get home, but then Joe Biden said last week I can’t guarantee the outcome,’ Hannity said.
‘You know it’s irresponsible? Abandoning the Air Force base leaving thousands of unarmed fellow citizens helpless to the whims of the radical terrorist group and the Taliban. The only way any American can even make it to the airport is if, and only if, the Taliban allows them and they’re not allowing everybody.’
He continued: ‘You know what else is irresponsible? Abandoning interpreters and translators and drivers, each one that put their necks on the line to help US troops over the 20-year period of time. Now the French President Emmanuel Macron is now lecturing and accusing him of moral cowardice that reminded Mr. Biden of the collective moral responsibility towards the Afghan men and women, we cannot abandon them.’
Meanwhile, Washington pulled off its biggest haul of evacuations since the crisis started over the last 24 hours to early Tuesday morning, with 37 military jets evacuating 21,600 people from Kabul, the White House announced.
But they still don’t know the number of American citizens and Afghan allies stranded on the ground that need evacuating.
‘Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 58,700 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 63,900 people,’ a White House official said.
From Sunday to early Monday morning, 28 military jets rescued around 10,400 people. The latest numbers reveal that over half of the total evacuations from Afghanistan have taken place in the last two days.
The US has evacuated approximately 58,700 people since August 14. Above, a family boards a US Air Force plane during an evacuation from the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul on Monday
Crowds of people outside Kabul airport on Tuesday, some holding children, others holding papers (left) and another group standing inside a moat around the perimeter