During a briefing Monday at the Pentagon to address the ongoing disaster in Afghanistan, an Afghan reporter broke down in tears while describing the situation in her country and the looming danger for its women.
“As you know, I’m from Afghanistan, and I’m very upset today because Afghan woman didn’t expect that overnight all the Taliban came,” Journalist Nazira Karimi said. “They took off my flag. This is my flag. And they put their flag. Everybody is upset, especially women.”
Karimi took a moment to regain her composure and then called out Ashraf Ghani, the former President of Afghanistan who fled the country on Sunday just ahead of Taliban forces that took over Kabul. “Where is my president, former President Ghani? People expected that he [inaudible] with the people, and immediately he run away. We don’t know where is he, and we don’t have a president.”
“President Biden said the President Ghani know he has to fight for us people,” Karimi continued. “They have to do everything, and we will able to financially help them. But we don’t have any president. We don’t have anything.”
Karimi also noted the disaster unfolding in particular for Afghanistan’s women. “Woman has a lot of achievement in Afghanistan. I had a lot of achievement. I left from the Taliban like 20 years ago. Now we go back to the first step again,” she said, adding that Ghani “should answer to Afghan people.” Watch the clip below:
As US forces withdraw in compliance with a 2020 agreement reached by the Trump administration, several disasters have unfolded. Taliban forces have assumed control of most of the country far faster than some experts predicted, sparking a humanitarian crisis as thousands of Afghans who aided U.S. forces during the 20-year war, and several hundred journalists, attempt to flee.
Earlier Monday, the publishers of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times urged the Biden Administration to help with the evacuation of journalists.
In remarks Monday afternoon, Biden said he has authorized the additional deployment of 6,000 more troops to secure the safe evacuation of Americans and its allies, and members of the media. He said the government has made it clear to the Taliban that if they attack U.S. personnel or disrupt the operations, the US will respond with force.
“This did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” Biden said. “US military will provide assistance to … US non governmental organizations, Afghans that are otherwise at great risk and US news agencies.”