The retired United States Army Green Beret who ran a daring rescue mission that likely saved the lives of at least 500 people who would have been trapped in Kabul by the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal told Fox & Friends on Monday that there are Americans and Afghan allies trapped behind enemy lines — including children — and that at least one group were turned by Taliban fighters who then fired at them.
Retired Green Beret commander Scott Mann, who led the “Task Force Pineapple” mission, disputed the Biden administration’s claims that all Americans who want to get out of Afghanistan are able to leave.
“The Pineapple volunteers – these are all special ops volunteers and civilian supporters. We’re doing this remote. We’re doing this from the US, but we’re building on our relationship and trust that we’ve had with our Afghan partners for 20 years. So we’ve got the ground truth on the outside of the gate,” Mann told the network.
He added that, as recently as yesterday, during a period in which the Biden administration should have been doing everything possible to extract the remaining Americans, a bus full of 50 individuals was turned back.
“Here’s the deal,” Mann told Fox. “There are hundreds of American citizens right now who are not able to get in. Yesterday, there was a bus of up to 50 American citizens with many small children within sight of the gate. The Taliban were not only not letting them in, they were firing over their heads, firing around the bus with these little kids on there. Imagine sitting on that bus with your kids, enduring that for hours at a time, never got in.”
“This is happening all over the city,” he said. “We’re going to have American citizens and Afghan allies behind enemy lines within a few hours.”
Indeed, the final civilian evacuation flights will likely leave Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) today. The U.S.’s diplomatic envoy left the airport early Monday, which means that there will be no further processing of visas or passports. That evacuation effort has reportedly slowed, per Fox News.
“According to the White House, on Sunday, a total of approximately 1,200 people were evacuated from Kabul. The White House said that evacuation was the result of 26 U.S. military flights, 26 C-17s, which carried approximately 1,200 evacuees, and two coalition flights, which carried 50 people,” the outlet said Monday. “The White House said Monday that since Aug. 14, when the mission began, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 116,700 people. And since the end of July, the White House said the U.S. has relocated nearly 122,300 people from Afghanistan.”
The final days of the evacuation will focus on flying out the U.S. military presence.
The last hours of the Afghan evacuation were marked by continued rocket attacks from ISIS-K, a terrorist group that operates within Afghanistan and was reportedly behind the deadly suicide bombing attack at HKIA that killed 13 U.S. service members.
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