WaPo Reporter On ‘How Incredibly High’ Danger Of Getting To Airport In Kabul Is

WaPo Reporter On ‘How Incredibly High’ Danger Of Getting To Airport In Kabul Is

let me start susanna with your latest reporting on what the president addressed today i understand from courtney cubie’s reporting there was a pause in those flights she explained some of the logistical challenges but take us inside your understanding of what’s happening on the ground in kabul well the day that we were able to escape kabul we were lucky because we were able to use a window where uk troops were conducting their own evacuation to the these troops had cleared a portion of the road outside one of these gates of the airport which now you see images of these gates and there’s just hundreds of people piled up against them these british forces had pushed these people back past the taliban checkpoint and had cleared a portion of road that allowed us this small window of opportunity to use that bit of road to get inside the military airport and get to a fight that would get us outside of kabul so that i want to play the president talking about all u.s news organizations being able to get out we’ll talk about it on the other side and one more mr president last month my colleague martha raddatz interviewed abdul an interpreter who was on the front lines with u.s forces in afghanistan overnight we received a photo of taliban militants coming to the door of his home literally hunting him down thankfully he was able to escape but he is obviously still in mortal danger what would be your message to abdul his wife and his three young daughters we want you to be able to get to the airport contact us we’ll see whatever we can do to get you there we’ve got to get you out we are committed to deal with you your wife and your child to get all three of you out of afghanistan that’s the commitment the united states stands by its commitment that we’ve made to these people and includes other vulnerable afghans such as women leaders and journalists in fact working in close coordination with the management of the new york times the washington post and wall street journal we have successfully evacuated all 204 of their employees in afghanistan on u.s military aircraft earlier this week we’ve established the flow of flights and we’ve increased the number of people we’re moving out of the country susanna no equivocation in the commitment to the mission um and obviously even former pentagon folks who started the week quite critical will acknowledge that um it’s going much better now but can you just put into context the the challenges that remain yeah i mean uh we’ve heard a lot about the difficulty of getting to the airport i mean that cannot be understated uh the only reason that i was able to get to the airport with my team first of all was because coincidentally there was this large british evacuation going on that cleared that space for us and also it was because i was with my team of i was with two of my colleagues afghan colleagues and their families and i am an american passport holder and that is what allowed us to get through the checkpoints and into the military side of the airport and i while you know there are statements you know from the united states embassy encouraging people to come to the airport but then also um saying you know we cannot ensure your safety as you go to the airport it’s it’s it’s really difficult to look at both of those statements together because the danger of going to the airport is so incredibly high at the moment that there are i get i get messages and calls from people in afghanistan every single day asking me can i can you um get an escort for me to the airport is there some way that you can help me get into the military side of the airport i want to get to the united states um and because the u.s doesn’t or because there’s no one that has control of the perimeter of that facility um there are you know hundreds if not thousands of people who want to escape the country after the taliban have overrun it who cannot even get to these planes that the pentagon has dispatched for their evacuation susan i want to read some of your reporting about just that you’re right the treacherous journey into kabul airport to escape taliban controlled afghanistan we were traveling with eight small children the youngest not even a year old and we’re most concerned about their safety two nights before washington post reporter aziz tassel and his young daughter were beaten by taliban fighters as they waited on the civilian side of the airport for a flight that never materialized that experience my colleagues later said only hardened their resolve to escape but it left their families terrified of returning to the scene i will never forget how they beat my small daughter tassel said showing me the dark bruise on her side they will never change my country is gone forever where they got out right i mean tell us how they’re doing now and and tell us how that that was i mean are you still shaking they are doing very well they’re um they’re in the united states by now um they’re some of the few very very fortunate afghans who have made it out of the country um i and that that experience was definitely um uh uh i was definitely shaken by that experience and it wasn’t because of the danger of the experience itself um i had never gone into a situation that was that dangerous with small children before and i did feel partially responsible for the fate of their families um because they were my colleagues and i think that was probably for me the most difficult part of that day was um knowing that there were these eight you know young kids who were you they’re under the care of their parents but ultimately you know i was the one who was making the decisions about what we were going to do and how we were going to get to these places um and that was something that you know has never come up in my journalism career before and it was something i took very seriously and i think you know once we were all sat on on that c-17 headed to qatar uh it was just like probably one of the biggest um feelings of relief i’ve ever felt um yeah no it’s um it’s definitely something that’s that’s still um still with me um and i’m just i’m just so happy that you did it yeah they’re they’re here now right they’re in the united states and do you are they doing okay so far so we haven’t um managed to make contact with them yet we know that their flight has touched down there’s a lot of processing and bureaucracy that goes through any sort of resettlement situation but i spent the first night with them um here in qatar in the airplane hangar um and they were doing okay they’re obviously everyone was shaken by uh by the journey there it was a long day to say the least um but i received a voice message from my colleague chassal he had bought some internet minutes while he was on the plane on the way to dulles airport from doha and i could just hear the change in his voice he sounded so genuinely happy that that he was finally on his way to the united states and um and i just i’m just so happy for them because um they always reiterated to me that while they loved their work for the washington post and they loved their jobs then they’re fantastic at it you know i’m sorry to lose such incredible colleagues uh they wanted uh they wanted a brighter future for their children and um that was something that i um you know i couldn’t argue with [Music] you
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WaPo Reporter On ‘How Incredibly High’ Danger Of Getting To Airport In Kabul Is

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