BEIRUT (12:20 A.M.) – Since things in Kabul quickly unraveled last week, the Pentagon has confirmed that American forces have sent a handful of ‘rescue operations’ into the capital city, outside the secure confines of the airport, such as a recent mission to rescue 169 Americans from a hotel.
On Wednesday the Pentagon confirmed another helicopter rescue mission that took troops significantly outside the airport perimeter and into the city, this in order to rescue “less than 20 Americans,” as the latest military press briefing indicated.
According to Fox News, “This is the third time American forces have launched helicopters to rescue Americans outside the airport.”
At the same briefing the Pentagon announced that over 4,400 Americans have now been evacuated from Afghanistan, clearly indicating the vast majority of the many thousands taken out so far have been Afghan nationals that previously worked with the coalition.
Further it appears there are a number of more ‘unofficial’ rescue mission forays into Kabul, all of which are highly dangerous in terms of the prospect of an on the ground firefight between Western allied forces and the Taliban breaking out:
And with special immigrant visa applicants cut off from escape by Taliban checkpoints, retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Rogers told Fox News Tuesday that non-government organizations have been working through unofficial channels to try to help.
“Everyone is p—ed about this even being necessary,” he said. “But if the president doesn’t want to step up and lead, someone else will.”
Last week, Rogers helped raise the alarm that his former U.S.-contracted Afghan interpreter was trapped in Kabul, hiding from the Taliban and hoping to make it out of the country.
But the more that American troops leave the airport, even in heavily armed helicopter gunships, the greater the likelihood a potential disastrous “Black Hawk Down” scenario becomes – in reference to the events of 1993 Somalia during the Battle of Mogadishu, where 18 American soldiers were killed, including two Delta Force operatives.
During that conflict under then newly elected Bill Clinton, and which precipitated the complete US forces hasty withdrawal from war-torn Somalia, a massive US ground force had to go back into the city to rescue the initial trapped Americans. This led to days of firefights and growing casualties taken on by the Americans.
Source: Zero Hedge, used with permission