An ex-US Marine has described the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 as a “catastrophe”, telling the lawmakers “there was inexcusable lack of accountability and negligence’’, BBC News reported.
Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who was critically injured at the Kabul airport blast on Aug 27, told the Republican-led hearing on the evacuation from Afghanistan that he was thrown four feet onto the ground but instantly knew what had happened.
“I opened my eyes to Marines dead or unconscious lying around me,” CBS quoted him as saying.
“A crowd of hundreds immediately vanished in front of me. And my body was catastrophically wounded with 100 to 150 ball bearings now in it”, he said while crying during the hearing.
The US forces had withdrawn its forces from Afghanistan in August 2021, the day before the Taliban regained control of the country.
Vargas-Andrews, 25, was one of several US military personnel tasked with protecting the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
He explained the details of the unpreparedness of the Biden administration while the Taliban captured Kabul.
He said that they had received an intelligence before the suicide blast. He said he had alerted his supervisors and requested permission to act but had never received it.
Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2023
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