After 20 years of war, soldiers from the United States and the Taliban are forced to understand each other and coordinate. The former are on the runway at Kabul International Airport, the latter control the exterior of the airfield, they have the main checkpoint and it depends on them whether or not people can access the site. The US Army assured that since Sunday 18,000 people have already left the country, but there are thousands and thousands scattered throughout Afghanistan who anxiously seek to overcome that filter imposed by the Islamists. The chaos and anarchy outside the airfield intensified after hearing the UN report on the start of the Taliban purge for
locate former NATO collaborators. As the days go by, the Islamists consolidate their power, show their true face and “have cut the main road that connects the city with the airfield to restrict the flow of people,” reported the Al Jazeera network.
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, thanked the United States, Turkey and the United Kingdom for their efforts to secure the airport, described the situation as “difficult and unpredictable” and regretted that “the greatest challenge facing Afghans is being able to access the runways.” Countries like Germany will try to solve this problem by sending two helicopters to be able to rescue people to evacuate somewhere in the capital and from there take them by air without having to face Taliban control.
Thousands of people are waiting for an evacuation to save them from the emirate. Bahman Shahi, Afghan activist, is witness to the chaos that reigns in the accesses and describes the situation as «anarchy, a horrible anarchy. Thousands of people, many of them with double passports and with documents that authorize them to travel, try to reach the door in desperation. There is no process, a mechanism that facilitates the exit ». Since Sunday at least 12 people have lost their lives and as the days go by, the pressure increases due to the arrival in the capital of people from the provinces who desperately seek to get on one of the military planes.
Afghanistan lived its first Friday of prayer under the emirate and the Taliban used mosques to ask Afghans to stay and work for the new Islamic regime. In the Pul-e-Kheshti mosque the person in charge of leading the prayer was Jalil Haqqani, one of the most wanted people by the United States in recent years for his membership in the dreaded Haqqani network. Without laying down the weapon at any time, Haqqani exhorted the faithful to swear allegiance to the emirate and the response was immediate. Washington was offering a $ 5 million reward for this ringleader who now takes mass baths on the streets of Kabul.
– mikel ayestaran (@mikelayestaran) August 20, 2021
Islamists speak of amnesty, but in practice they have already launched a purge and are searching house to house for Afghans who collaborated with NATO for the past two decades. A United Nations report that was leaked to ‘The New York Times’ revealed the beginning of this door-to-door search that has caused panic in Kabul. “We had to leave our house north of the capital and now we are in hiding, in another part of the city where nobody knows us. I am with my wife and children, waiting for the saving call from Spain, ”says N. On the other side of the phone, in a very low, tired and trembling tone of voice.
His father, a translator from the United States, left the country two days ago, but he, who has collaborated with Spain, is still in Kabul with his wife and four children. They have left their home because all the neighbors knew of their collaboration with the NATO forces and “because we have already heard cases of people who have already been arrested, we could not risk it.”
Islamists seek recognition from the international community to prevent the emirate from becoming isolated, as happened between 1996 and 2001 when was only recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They have ruled out holding elections, but are open to what they call an “inclusive government”, the name of former President Hamid Karzai is on the table and spokesman Suhail Shahin told the Chinese channel CGTV that “we are entering a new phase and we need help from other countries. ‘
A virtual G-7 summit is scheduled for next week and the emirate will be the key point on the agenda. For now, coordination with the Taliban is essential to be able to continue with the evacuations, international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are working on the ground, with several Spaniards among their expatriates, and Nations United has not evacuated its staff.
In addition to taking over the political reins of the country, the Islamists have managed to seize in just eleven days the entire arsenal left behind by the Afghan Army. US intelligence estimates that the Emirate’s force now numbers more than 2,000 armored vehicles and more than 40 aircraft, including several state-of-the-art Black Hawk helicopters and drones.