The Department of Defense explained Friday that a baby was handed over to U.S. troops at Kabul Airport amid chaos from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
This August 20th image shows a U.S. Marine grabbing a baby over a fence during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul. Omar Haidiri/AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
U.S. Marines pulled a baby crying over the Kabul airport's wire fencing, as hundreds of Afghans crowded the perimeter. At a Friday press conference, John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated that the family requested U.S. troops provide medical care for their baby. The baby was then reunited with its father after being treated at a Norwegian hospital. According to Jim Stenger, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps, the baby is safe at the airport located behind the U.S. military's perimeter. Critics have criticized the Biden administration for their chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. This included its inability to evacuate unidentified U.S. citizens and Afghans who had ties to the U.S military.
What we don't know
Kirby and Stenger did not provide any information on the father and baby's plans to leave Afghanistan or whether any family members were able to make it through the airport.
Kirby stated that he believed this was a very humane act de compassion on the part of the Marines.
Kirby stated that he doesn't know of any other cases in which children were brought into the airport.
The United States is working to evacuate American citizens as well as Afghans who served with U.S. forces, as the Taliban gains more control over Afghanistan. Although thousands have been evacuated from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International airport in recent days by the U.S. military, it has sometimes become chaotic. After people tried to flee Kabul, the airfield was shut down. Flights were stopped for several hours on Friday due to a Qatari processing facility running out of capacity. The Taliban set up checkpoints at the airport and harassed some Afghans who attempted to enter.
President Joe Biden stated Friday that the Taliban had agreed to allow Americans through the maze of checkpoints outside the airport. However, he also said that U.S. forces had pulled in 169 Americans over the wall.
Biden calls Kabul evacuations dangerous, vows to rescue Americans and Afghans (Forbes).