Three babies have been born amid evacuation efforts from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country, U.S. officials confirmed this week.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Tuesday one of the babies was born on a C-17 military aircraft, and the other two were born in a hospital at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
“I am told that moms and dads and babies are all fine and healthy and all is looking good there,” Kirby said. He said he was not aware that any of the babies were born as American citizens.
Military bases outside the USA are not part of the country “in relation to birthright citizenship,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A baby born on a U.S.-registered aircraft outside U.S. airspace is not considered to be born in the USA, according to the State Department.
The Air Mobility Command, a division of the U.S. Air Force, tweeted Saturday that an Afghan mother gave birth to her daughter aboard the C-17 aircraft that landed at Ramstein Air Base.
“During a flight from an Intermediate Staging Base in the Middle East, the mother went into labor and began having complications,” the command tweeted.
“The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” the social media message continued.
The Department of Defense shared photos on social media of medical personnel helping the mother and her family off the C-17.
A nurse who helped deliver the baby girl told CNN her team was “expecting the worst, hoping for the best” as the Afghan mother gave birth. U.S. Army Capt. Erin Brymer said that when she reached the plane, fellow female evacuees were holding up shawls to give the mother privacy.
“I actually feel quite honored and humbled to be a part of this mission. And just kind of — the sheer humanity of this,” Brymer told the outlet. “I mean, we’re people, they’re people. We both want the same things, healthy and strong mamas and babies.”
USA TODAY was unable to reach the Department of Defense for additional information on the status of the other babies.
The Biden administration plans to complete the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by Aug. 31, seeking to remove Americans, Afghan interpreters and others who cooperated with the U.S. military.
A Taliban spokesman said Tuesday that Afghans should not go to the airport in Kabul, the nation’s capital, or attempt to flee the country. The militant group publicly discouraged U.S. officials from instructing Afghans to leave.
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