Monday, September 20

An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue President Biden during a 2008 snowstorm was left behind in Afghanistan


  • An Afghan interpreter, who helped rescue Biden from a snowstorm in 2008, was left behind in Afghanistan.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, two helicopters carrying three former senators landed in a remote valley.
  • The man reportedly helped US forces drive for hours through snowy mountains to locate the senators.

An Afghan interpreter who helped save then-Sen. Joe Biden from a snowstorm in a remote Afghan village in 2008 was left behind in the country as US forces concluded their withdrawal and evacuations from Afghanistan on August 31, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mohammed, whose full name was not shared in the report due to fear of reprisal by the Taliban, helped rescue Biden and two then-Sens. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, after a snowstorm forced the two Black Hawk helicopters transporting the senators to land in a remote valley in 2008, The Journal reported.

According to the report, when the helicopter made an emergency landing, the team sent out an urgent call to nearby US forces and contractors. Mohammed joined a group of soldiers in a Humvee and helped guide them for hours through the mountains in search of the senators , eventually retrieving them.

Insider reached out to the White House and the US State Department for comment.

“Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed told The Journal.

“Don’t forget me here,” he said, telling The Journal that he, his wife, and their four children are currently hiding from the Taliban because of his work as an interpreter.

On Monday, head of US Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said at a press conference on Monday that 1,000-1,500 Afghans had been flown out of the country in the last 24 hours. Over the last weeks, 123,000 people had been evacuated in total including Afghans and Americans. Those evacuations were conducted with a coalition of countries, he said.

“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” McKenzie said. “The end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001.”

“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out, but I think if we stayed another 10 days, we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out who we wanted to get out,” McKenzie said.

The number of American citizens left behind was in the “very low hundreds” McKenzie said. It’s unclear how many Afghan allies were left behind.

“The military phase of this operation is ended,” he said. “The diplomatic sequel to that will now begin.”

Biden said on Tuesday that the US would help the remaining 100 to 200 Americans left in Afghanistan, and according to the Wall Street Journal, as many as 60,000 Afghan interpreters and allies are still in the country.



www.businessinsider.com

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