A CNN correspondent said Taliban members shouting “death to America” seemed “friendly” while reporting outside the deserted U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday.
“They’re just chanting ‘Death to America,’ but they seem friendly at the same time. It’s utterly bizarre,” said CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward.
In the video, Taliban members are seen piled on a vehicle with a Taliban flag, chanting and brandishing what appear to be military-grade rifles.
The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan over the weekend as Afghan government and military officials fled the country. On Sunday, the terrorist organization took over the city of Kabul, the capital of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, and declared the war in Afghanistan is over. Thousands of Americans and Afghans remained stranded in Kabul, awaiting rushed evacuations via U.S. military and commercial flights that were interrupted by surrounding gunfire.
“Tomorrow and over the coming days, we will be transferring out of the country thousands of American citizens who have been resident in Afghanistan, as well as locally employed staff of the U.S. mission in Kabul and their families and other particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals,” said a Defense Department statement shared with American Military News on Sunday. “And we will accelerate the evacuation of thousands of Afghans eligible for U.S. Special Immigrant Visas, nearly 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the United States over the past two weeks. For all categories, Afghans who have cleared security screening will continue to be transferred directly to the United States. And we will find additional locations for those yet to be screened.”
On Saturday, President Joe Biden defended in a statement his call to withdraw American troops.
“Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in US history,” Biden said in the statement.
“One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me,” the statement continued.
Biden remained on vacation at Camp David as the Taliban reclaimed Afghanistan and a senior official reportedly told CNN that the president would address the nation “in the next few days.”
Amid mounting bipartisan pressure to speak to the American people, Biden announced via Twitter that he would return to the White House and publicly address the situation on Monday afternoon.