Infographic and Article by Rubi Melo
A lot has been going on in Afghanistan recently, and things heated up once the U.S. started to pull their troops from Afghanistan. Once U.S. troops started to leave, the Taliban took back control over Afghanistan on the 15th of August leaving the country vulnerable. This new shift of power left people in Afghanistan scared, and many were desperate to escape the country. Wanting to escape from Taliban control and fearing that their governing will be exactly as cruel as before, many people in Afghanistan are desperate to evacuate.
There has been a lot of action at Kabul airport on the eastern side of the country, where planes have been taking off, getting people out of the country. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State said, “Our focus right now is on getting our citizens and on getting our partners, third-country partners who have been working in Afghanistan with us, out of the country into safety.”
ISIS in Khorasan, or ISIS-K, sworn enemy of the Taliban were responsible for multiple attacks at Kabul airport; there was one suicide bombing at the airport’s Abbey Gate, followed by an assault by gunmen and another bomb that went off at a hotel near the airport. At least 100 people were killed including 13 U.S. service members and more than 200 people were wounded.
Meanwhile, women in Afghanistan are terrified of what may happen to them under Taliban rule. Since the Taliban took over, it is apparent that many women have been staying indoors. When the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan before, women were subject to violence and discrimination and it is highly anticipated that this will happen again. Now women who do leave their homes dress more conservatively, so as not to draw unwanted attention or violence their way.
According to The Washington Post, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the Taliban is very different from what the world saw the last time they were in power. They have promised peace and pledged inclusivity and reform, but many people do not believe it.
The last airplane left Kabul carrying the last of the American troops out of Afghanistan on August 30th.
President Biden has faced a lot of backlash for his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, but he stands by his decision and continues to defend it. He made a speech on Monday addressing the current events taking place and his decision. In this speech, he said, “I’m the fourth president who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this war. When I was running for president, I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. Today I’ve honored that commitment.”
He went on to say he would not necessarily leave Afghanistan to its own devices but would hold the Taliban accountable for the public promises of peace that they made. He also spoke about the many Americans that are still in Afghanistan and who now wish to leave saying, “For those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to getting them out if they want to come out.”
Biden ended his speech with the notion that he believed his decision was the wisest and safest decision that he could have made and that one of his main priorities in making it was to keep American troops safe.