Viral photo shows soldier desperately cradling American flag on their way out of Kabul
In the photograph, one can see a soldier trying to load the Old Glory into a plane back home
A picture showing a US soldier clutching the American flag has been going viral on social media. The soldier hastily tied to load it into a plane to be flown out of Afghanistan. For many people online, it is a stark reminder of America's 'failed' campaign in the country.
In the photograph, one can see the soldier trying to load the Old Glory into a plane back home. With the US Embassy officially closed and evacuated along with the flag, and ambassador Ross Wilson and other diplomats relocating to the airport, many social media users drew comparisons with the evacuation of the embassy of Saigon in 1975.
"Soldier carrying the remaining US flag out of the US embassy in Kabul today. #Afghanistan," one user wrote sharing the picture. Another user wrote sharing the picture, "Image of soldier clutching the American flag from the US Embassy in Kabul while being flown to Hamid Karzai International Airport. Thank you for your service. #Afghanistan #Kabul"
Image of soldier clutching the American flag from the US Embassy in Kabul while being flown to Hamid Karzai International Airport.— 𝕮𝕻𝕷 𝖀𝕾 𝕬𝖗𝖒𝖞 𝕽𝖊𝖙. (@CannabisCav420) August 15, 2021
Thank you for your service. 🇺🇸#Afghanistan #Kabul pic.twitter.com/SiiPWkMRot
According to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the diplomats were flown from Kabul via Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters on the evening of Sunday, August 15, 2021. "We can confirm that the safe evacuation of all Embassy personnel is now complete. All Embassy personnel are located on the premises of Hamid Karzai International Airport, whose perimeter is secured by the US Military," he said.
On Sunday, the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital after the US-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled the country "to avoid bloodshed". As per the latest reports, almost all major checkpoints in Kabul were under Taliban control by Monday morning. Additionally, Afghanistan's Civil Aviation Authority issued an advisory saying the "civilian side" of the airport had been "closed until further notice" and that the military controlled the airspace.
Meanwhile, Taliban officials made promises that civilians would not be harmed and announced everyone would be allowed to return home from Kabul airport if they decided to stay in the country. Earlier, the Taliban had said that westerners would be allowed to leave the country but that Afghans would be barred from departing.
Reports reveal that evacuation flights from Kabul airport are set to resume on Tuesday, August 17, after eight people were killed on Monday amid chaos on the runway. Two armed Afghans were shot dead by US troops, three civilians were run over by taxiing jets and three more plummeted to their deaths, reports say.
A C-17 plane can carry 171,000 pounds of cargo but the interior is designed to carry fewer than 150 soldiers. However, a 'hero' pilot flew out 640 Afghans out from Hamid Karzai International Airport on a plane. The refugees, including many women and young children, ran onto the plane's half-open ramp before take-off. "The crew made the decision to go", taking them with them, an unnamed defense official said.