WELLSBURG, W.Va. — As the chaos in Afghanistan continues, Brooke County Senator Ryan Weld remains feeling ‘helpless’ as he watches the efforts to evacuate Americans and Afghan refugees.
Weld, who is a military veteran of Afghanistan, appeared on Wednesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline’ and said he continues to speak with those he served with about getting their friends from Afghanistan out of the country as Taliban takes control.
He said the Afghan man who helped him and his team during his time there is having trouble leaving.
“The home that he is staying in has a Taliban-controlled checkpoint directly outside of it at the corner. There are several more on the way a few times,” Weld said
“He has made it to the airport a few times, made it to the gate at least once to be told he is not on the list.”
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said 10,000 people were inside Kabul airport waiting to be evacuated. Weld said he has been in contact with the congressional delegation from West Virginia to get answers on the situations and ‘the list’ as to who is on it.
Weld said his friend lives in Kabul with five kids and his wife. He said Taliban knows his friend helped the United States in the past 20 years and has seen screenshots of call logs that are filled with calls and threats from Taliban leaders.
During Wednesday’s show, Weld read a message he and another veteran received that morning from an Afghan man attempting to leave.
“It included and said ‘last night Taliban killed my sister, husband in his house because he was ex-police officer. Now I am afraid to be killed by insurgents. I am here near the airport gates but there is no chance to enter because thousands of people rush,'” Weld said.
Weld began to get emotional about the people he worked with daily for months in the Middle East.
“I have never been this frustrated in my life and also felt so helpless, trying to help this man and another individual that worked so hard for us while we were there to try and get out of that place,” he said.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) August 25, 2021
This week, President Biden confirmed his intent to complete the U.S. military evacuation mission in Afghanistan on August 31. Weld said the deadline made everything a worse situation, “We’re the United States of America. The Taliban doesn’t set our deadlines.”
Weld also said he disagrees with the Biden administration notion of them ‘defying expectations’ with the evacuation. “You don’t get to sink the ship and then brag about the number of lifeboats, ” Weld said.
He continued, “They (Afghan residents) made a choice to assist us in our mission in building a secure Afghanistan. Now because of that choice, their lives are in danger. I feel we have a moral obligation to get these people to safety.”