BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 P.M.) – This week a series of videos coming out of Hamid Karzai International Airport documented the breakdown in security and general chaos that ensued as US and allied troops attempted to get a handle on the chaotic situation amid the Taliban takeover of the Afghan capital, resulting in multiple deaths as desperate civilians blocked runways and attempted to literally climb onto departing military aircraft.
On Wednesday it appears that for the first time a video filmed by a US soldier at the airport has been uploaded to the internet. It was filmed from the vantage point of a turret gunner, and gives new perspective on how dire things got there in the past days since the collapse of the US-backed Afghan national government.
According to the description provided by a US veteran community online source which regularly posts combat clips, “this is the first footage we have received that was filmed by an actual service member taking part in the evacuation security operations.”
“The footage is filmed by a turret gunner in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, and it shows the use of AH-64 Apache gunships to clear the runway for C-17 aircraft,” the video description continues. “It also gives scope of the massive crowd of desperate Afghans that are hoping to hitch a ride out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.”
“More recent reports suggest that the military side of the aircraft has been cleared of the Afghan mob and evacuations are being executed at approximately one flight per hour, and thousands of people leaving the country per day.”
Currently of the total 7,000 troops President Joe Biden authorized this week to provide security for US personnel evacuation efforts, about 4,000 are now believed to be on the ground, led by the 82nd Airborne Division.