The relief operation becomes increasingly urgent and desperate as the British military attempts to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan in just days You can hear a noise as you enter the high iron gates, which are the only way into the connection that is the center of the British airlift operation from Afghanistan.
On both sides of a narrow road, within the walls of the junction at Kabul airport, exhausted British soldiers lie in the shade, waiting for their turn to go outside into the scorching sun and chaos.
Thousands of people are fleeing towards this innocent place, which for some will be the gateway to freedom – and for many others, the end of a dream to flee the Taliban After two decades, that’s what it came down to. A quick retreat, a civilian evacuation … with the Taliban watching.
As each day passes, this relief operation becomes increasingly urgent and desperate as the British military attempts to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan in just days It is a humanitarian mission and what feels like a war zone.
A temporary barricade is anything that separates two armies that have been fighting for 20 years The Taliban are only a meter away from British soldiers – it’s a picture I never thought I would see.
We have seen thousands converging on this basis threatening to overcome the entire evacuation operation The Taliban helped. On the road, they control the people of people trying to achieve the British position Sometimes they shoot into the air, so people stop They are a menace presence.
Day and night families – often with small children – risked their lives to dive past shots at the doors of the civilian side of the airport; passing along aggressive Taliban fighters who sometimes beat and harass them During the night, paratroopers blocked the road with cars and barbed wire.
A senior officer told me they had no choice because the situation was out of control, but said the blockade with some of his soldiers would last the rest of his life.
“It was horrible, the women were throwing their babies over the razor wire, asking the soldiers to take them, some were caught in the wire,” he told me “I worry about my men, I advise some, everyone cried last night.”
It looks like chaos but there is a method, the soldiers call interpreters of different nationalities to come to the barricade, including the Afghans with a valid asylum case Passports and papers are then checked.
When they pass patterns, they are led to the entrance gate to process. Some do, others do not Soldiers hate this but without the proper paperwork, they have to turn people away.
Frightened families – men, women, and large numbers of children – are sent back by the pinched wire We watched as a little girl, her parents and brothers were sent back Back to Afghanistan, back to the Taliban It was heartbreaking Fatima, not her real name, made it through the barricade that her daughter clapped her hand to. She thinks she has a case but does not know who to talk to She is terrified and in tears. Her husband came to the Taliban and beat her.
She and her four-year-old have nothing but a UN letter identifying them as victims “Afghanistan is Taliban. Taliban is terrorist. My husband is a terrorist Taliban,” she told me, She starts the countries: “America, Canada, France, me and just my daughter … I asked if they were going anywhere. “Everywhere! Every country,” she said.
We told her story to the officer in charge outside The Soldiers had a reasonable latitude in their decision, and Major Steve White decided to include her in the system.
“I can put her in the system, but I do not know if the system will save her, but I can at least do that,” he told me He went to Fatima and, through another journalist who could translate, she explained what he would do. She seems confused, but we told her to follow him And he brought her into the serpent.
It was quite simply an act of human kindness in all this chaos Fatima made it inside. Major White may have saved their lives, he certainly gave them a chance at a better one.
But there are also many sad stories We met a doctor from Herat with her sister and her mother, and it seems like they had absolutely no right to come through the doors.
They fled the Taliban and are now being held They have hope but it seems hopeless “We have no brother, we have no father, you know that living here is very difficult for us,” she told me Si hu we are scared, we are scared, ”she said in tears.
I’ve reported on the Afghan war since it started. I’ve been on countless embeds with British and American soldiers, I’ve met with the Taliban, and I’ve seen pain and grief in Afghanistan for two decades The Taliban has won Watching on as soldiers carried babies towards the gates of the compound, I can’t help but think what a waste this has been And once again a small contingent of soldiers are dealing with the mess.