WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — As Afghanistan falls further into Taliban control, the United States military is trying to evacuate all remaining Americans and about 22,000 Afghans from the country.
“Our responsibility is if they qualify to get them on a plane whether it’s a military plane or not and get them out,“ Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said Monday.
Thousands of American troops tried to limit the chaos Monday at Kabul’s airport. Afghans, desperate to flee the Taliban, scaled walls and even clung to American planes.
Taliban commanders, now fully in control of the country, have promised to remain peaceful despite the group’s violent, suppressive past.
“We will give services to our nation, we give serenity to the whole nation, that we will go as far as possible for the betterment of their lives,” Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar Akhund said.
Kabul’s mayor, Muhammad Sultanzoy, said in the absence of the Afghan government and security forces, he’s now working with Taliban leaders to keep the city running.
“They want us to continue our job and provide services to this city of 5 million people,” Sultanzoy said. “Times are a little anxious, but we have to do our job.”
Members of the United Nations are now accepting the reality that Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban again.
“We’re calling for an immediate end to violence, restoration of security, civil and constitutional order,” Estonian Deputy Ambassador Andre Lipart said.
Still, uncertainty and fear permeate Afghanistan. Government officials and police have fled. Women question their future in a Taliban-run nation.
“For sure I’m afraid for myself, my life and my freedom to speak up,” Afghan parliament member Farzana Kochai said. “These are the things I’m afraid of losing.”