A photograph showing hundreds of people fleeing Afghanistan, crammed into a military plane, has been widely shared in recent days. The image made the rounds of international media and social networks. Here is his story.
Sitting on the ground, several hundred people are crammed inside a military plane, shoulder to shoulder. The image was captured on Sunday August 15, 2021, in a device American mobilized for the evacuation operations set up after the capture of Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, by the Taliban.
This particularly striking photograph made the rounds of international media and was widely shared on social networks. It is a symbol of the chaos that reigned over Kabul airport, where dramatic scenes have taken place in recent days.
Where does this photo come from?
The image was obtained and then disseminated by Defense One, an American information website specializing in defense issues.
According to information from this media outlet, the photograph shows the interior of a massive US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport plane which, from Kabul, flew towards the military base. from Al-Udeid, Qatar.
The site does not indicate who made this image, nor if it was taken at the airport in the Afghan capital or during the flight.
What do we see in this image?
In all, around 640 Afghans, civilians, were on board the aircraft, according to an anonymous US military official interviewed by Defense One. All had “Received authorization to be evacuated” out of theAfghanistan by the American authorities, adds the specialized website, without giving further details.
The United States is currently pulling out of Afghanistan ” thousands of people “, as reported by the US State Department and Defense Department in a joint statement published on Sunday.
These are American nationals who resided in the country, but also Afghans who worked on behalf of the United States (translators, for example), their families, and “Other particularly vulnerable Afghan citizens” after the Taliban took power.
Many countries have taken the same approach, including France, who must get out of Afghanistan ” Several dozens ” of French and “People who are under our protection”, in other words Afghans who worked for France, said Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces.
Why has this photograph marked so much?
First of all, there is the image itself: hundreds of people sitting on the floor, sometimes holding children in their arms, resigned to flee their country.
What marks, too, is the context. In fact, the aircraft was not originally supposed to take off with so many passengers on board. Corn “Panicked Afghans, who had been authorized to evacuate, climbed onto the half-open ramp” of the plane, according to a US military official interviewed by Defense One. And instead of forcing them down, “The crew made the decision to take off”, still according to the same source.
On the social network Twitter, where the image has been widely shared, many Internet users praise the “Compassion” soldiers.
Another strong image of Kabul yesterday, these 640 Afghan refugees who boarded the American C-17 cargo plane of the US Air Force. Instead of forcing them to leave the aircraft, the crew made the decision to take off with them out of compassion. https://t.co/lOEgLgXBp0 pic.twitter.com/LtQ4ADigpr
– Bruno Guglielminetti (@Guglielminetti) August 16, 2021
Still according to the manager interviewed by the American website, the few “640 Afghan civilians disembarked from the plane when it arrived at its destination », In Qatar.
In all, the United States intends to bring out of Afghanistan about 30,000 people, American diplomats or Afghan nationals, according to information from Agence France-Presse.
More than 15,000 Afghans who have assisted the United States in their operations in the country, as well as members of their families, have been able to settle in the country, says the American daily. The New York Times, Monday August 16.
At least 18,000 of them are waiting to receive the precious visas allowing them to settle across the Atlantic. In all, US authorities have planned to grant 34,500 residence permit visas for Afghans who have assisted the United States and their families.
But according to associations cited by the daily The Washington Post, in all, the number of applicants for special visas to leave Afghanistan to live in the United States is estimated to be 80,000.
1 thought on “This photo of Afghans fleeing their country by plane has left its mark on social networks, here is its story – Ouest-France evening edition – 08/17/2021 – Ouest-France”
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