There was total chaos and violence in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday amid the departure of U.S. and allied forces after two decades of occupation.
With the Taliban rapidly taking over the country, the only part not yet fully under Taliban control is a small strip of land around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The American military is trying to assist American personnel as they leave the country but, the situation is increasingly becoming untenable.
On Monday, as thousands descended on the airport in a desperate attempt to escape, the Wall Street Journal reported that three people were killed just outside the terminal. Three bodies were said to have been the victims of gunfire.
Meanwhile, the paper also reports that U.S. troops shot and killed at least two men who approached U.S. troops deployed to the airport to assist Americans with leaving the country. The journal cited a U.S. official as its source.
Now, thousands of Afghans are rushing the airport in an effort to flee the country, before the Taliban take over completely. The panic was exacerbated as the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Some, out of sheer desperation, were seen clinging to the landing gear of the departing aircraft.
Insane. Don’t have any other words.
The Kabul Airport.
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) August 16, 2021
The chaotic scenes drew parallels with the U.S. hasty withdrawal from Saigon, Vietnam, as the communist guerrillas were taking over.
Another Saigon moment: chaotic scenes at Kabul International Airport. No security. None. pic.twitter.com/6BuXqBTHWk
— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) August 15, 2021
U.S. troops were forced to fire shots of live ammunition in the air to make the crowds disperse. It didn’t work.
Gunfire heard near Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport as crowd of Afghan civilians rushes toward terminal pic.twitter.com/pMMPoBA89V
— Factal News (@factal) August 16, 2021
Crowds made it impossible for the U.S. military to ensure safe takeoffs from the airport. Videos surfaced of an Apache aircraft clearing the runway.
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) August 16, 2021
Many Afghans, especially those that worked with U.S. and allied forces, fear retribution by the Taliban.
As the planes departed, cameras recorded the tragic footage of people that clung to landing gear falling from the sky.
The moment when several people in Afghanistan fell from the plane because the were stuck to the tire of the plane.We did not deserve this misfortune.O Allah have mercy on us poor people.#Afghanistan #Afganistan #AfghanWomen #USA #america #Kabul #kabulairport #taliban pic.twitter.com/fs3n32M2a5
— Musawer khalil andarabi (@MusawerAndarabi) August 16, 2021
Shocking footage of a US C-17 taking off from Kabul Airport around 40 minutes ago and something falls off from the aircraft. Many eyewitnesses claim 2-3 people fell off the aircraft over roofs of buildings in Kabul. Not officially confirmed. Shall update. pic.twitter.com/XFdctueRPU
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 16, 2021
President Biden is being criticized for the sudden and poorly planned withdrawal.