President Joe Biden called the evacuations from Kabul ‘an extraordinary success’. However, the New York Times has documents stating, among other things, that ‘229 Afghan children were inadvertently separated from their parents in the evacuations from Kabul’.
Reports from officials and military officials say the evacuations were ‘distressing’. At the military base of Al Udeid, southwest of Doha, nearly 15,000 Afghans were crammed into sheds and tents. Among that number were as many as 229 children who were separated from their parents.
There were also “a large number of pregnant women” who needed medical attention, it said. According to the description of the officials and military, conditions in Doha were getting worse.
According to The New York Times, the documents show that the evacuations were “more chaotic” than Biden makes clear. Tensions flared among the refugees “as a result of long stays and unpredictable departure dates”. The updates were sent daily to Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.
Biden spoke of more than 120,000 evacuated people on Tuesday. Yesterday, Alejandro N. Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security said about 40,000 people had arrived in the US at airports near Washington DC and Philadelphia. It is not entirely clear to this day where they are all located. The New York Times reports that the flight logs from Kabul are not complete.
Another official says that about 30 unaccompanied children were brought to her every day, while other officials tried to find their parents. Often they were flown to Qatar alone. “You couldn’t leave them behind,” it sounds. She remembers a boy about 13 years old with blood on his clothes. He said that someone in the crowd had died right before his eyes. “It’s just horrible what these people have to go through.”
For now, the White House is refusing to comment on The New York Times’ reporting.