Amid the chaos that gripped Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the capital, Kabul, a US military C-17 Globemaster III plane took off with 640 people on board this Sunday (15), according to the site. Defense One.
According to a US defense official, who spoke to the site on condition of anonymity, the plane was not supposed to carry as many people, but the Afghans threw themselves on the half-open ramp to board the plane. The C-17 has, as stated, a capacity of just over 100 passengers.
The flight from Kabul, which left shortly after the extremist group’s return to power in the country, was bound for Qatar, where it landed after more than two hours of flight, according to a flight tracking website.
According to the testimony given to Defense One, the decision to take off, instead of trying to expel people, was made by the crew.
The airport in the Afghan capital has recorded surreal scenes of desperation as residents flee the city. In the most shocking of them, at least two people died after lodging next to the undercarriage of a gigantic US military freighter in the air – it’s unclear if it was the same C- 17 carrying the approximately 640 passengers.
Dozens of civilians followed suit with other military planes and invaded two commercial planes parked on the runway. At least seven people have died, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Kabul airport was transformed into a sort of embassy for Western countries, which transferred its staff by helicopter, so that they could be transported in cargo ships. In addition to the Americans, the British, French and Germans did the same, supporting other Western allies.
After Monday morning (16), the Americans even suspended military landings, forcing a German plane to divert to neighboring Uzbekistan.
It kept pushing and pushing and more violence. At least two people have been killed, according to the Pentagon, for approaching barriers armed with American soldiers.
“US military forces are working with Turkish and foreign troops to clean up the area. We don’t know how long it will take, ”said John Kirby, spokesperson for the US Department of Defense.
In addition, the United States has recommended that airlines also avoid flying over Afghanistan. Since Sunday, this has been adopted by United Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. On Monday it was the turn of Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Taiwan’s China Airlines, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa.
The Americans have occupied Afghanistan with military troops since 2001, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, when the Americans ousted the Taliban from power. Previously, the fundamentalist group ruled the country for five years in a regime marked by violence and disrespect for human rights.
After 20 years of war, however, Western troops failed to strengthen the Afghan state, and the announcement by Joe Biden’s government that it would withdraw the army from the country was enough for the Taliban to regain power. in a few weeks, in a military offensive that materialized this Sunday.
So far, the Islamic fundamentalist group has kept its promise not to prevent Western personnel from leaving Afghanistan. It’s unclear, however, what he will do with like-minded Afghans.