Afghan man, Gastonia military veteran speak about Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - While the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is happening thousands of miles away from the Charlotte area, the situation is still resonating with people who live in the Carolinas.

Ahmad, an Afghan man who asked that his last name not be used for the sake of his family’s safety, told WBTV that he has several relatives who are living in Afghanistan. Ahmad said he is worried for the safety of his loved ones because they have opposed the rule of the Taliban.

“I feel like desperate. I feel like hopeless and defenseless,” the Afghan told WBTV in an interview Monday night.

Like the rest of the world, Ahmad has watched from afar as the Taliban rolled through Afghanistan, retaking control of cities as Afghans try to flee the country. He said his family is currently relocating and trying to keep a low profile.

“They are in complete danger. I am not able to bring my siblings into the United States,” explained Ahmad.

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday, speaking about the situation in Afghanistan. The president noted that he still supports the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan even with the Taliban takeover.

“I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly another country’s civil war,” said Biden.

While Biden has been criticized for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan, Ahmad said he blames the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, for the Taliban takeover.

“He just handed over the government to the Taliban as a gift and he betrayed the Afghanistan people. He betrayed the U.S. government,” said Ahmad about Ghani.

Cameron Abercrombie, a Gastonia resident and veteran of the United States Marine Corps, said he spent 11 months in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He spoke to WBTV about the current conflict Monday.

“It’s a shame really. You get to know these interpreters and all these local nationals over there and then you see what’s going on now going on there’s nobody to help them,” said Abercrombie.

The Marine Corps veteran said he would have liked to have seen at least some United States military presence left in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from quickly taking over the country.

“You can’t hold somebody’s hand for 20 years and then just straight up throw them off the deep end,” said Abercrombie.

Ahmad said he too wishes that there was at least some American military presence left in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from taking the country.

“Even 2000 people, 2000 armed forces in a small military base could prevent all this chaos,” said Ahmad.

The Afghan native said he doesn’t have much hope for the future of his country. He is pleading with American government officials not to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

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