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Interpreter for Treasure Coast veteran stuck in Afghanistan after final US troops withdraw

Man says Taliban 'going to cut their head off'
Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 18:00:02-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — American allies were still stuck in Afghanistan attempting to be evacuated from the country in the last hours of the U.S. withdrawal.

MORE: 300 US citizens still seeking evacuation from Afghanistan

The Pentagon confirmed Monday evening that the U.S. military had completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.

Officials announced the last plane departed Monday at 3:29 p.m. ET, ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.

For Afghan allies of the United States, the fear for their safety is at an all-time high, as well as confusion over what options they still have to get to escape the Taliban-run country.

Interpreter still stuck in Afghanistan
The man who served as an interpreter with U.S. forces remains stuck in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

"We are not safe at all. We're hiding ourselves in the basement," said one Afghan ally who WPTV is not identifying for his safety.

The ally served as a contractor and an interpreter, including for one Treasure Coast veteran who is trying to aid in his rescue.

"Unfortunately, we did wait for the government to give us a call or send us an email to get out of here but we received none of those," the man said.

He has been hiding within about 10 minutes of the airport in Kabul, which for many was the lone site of hope for escape from the Taliban.

In the last few days, the man said it was too dangerous to travel to the airport while holding documents that proved he was an ally of the United States.

Gen. Frank McKenzie speaks about end of US withdrawal from Afghanistan
Gen. Frank McKenzie, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, speaks from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Fla., and appears on a screen as he speaks about the situation in Afghanistan during a virtual briefing moderated by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

"I don't understand what is the problem or why they left us behind or why they didn't help us," he said. "We're really, really confused."

He is in the country with his brother, parents and his brother's children, including teenagers. He made one unsuccessful trip to the airport.

"I did show some documents. I talked to the U.S. Army, and they don't listen to us at all. They just pushed us back," the man said.

He said he witnessed members of the Taliban pull his neighbor out of his home. He fears what could happen if he's found.

"Whoever worked with the U.S. government … they're going to cut their head off straight away," the man said.

His communication with the U.S. government has been through e-mails.

A U.S military aircraft takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.
A U.S military aircraft takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

He received one of his most recent updates from the Department of State by way of the office of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's, R-Colorado.

"We continue to pursue all options to relocate interested and qualified Afghan SIV applicants and their immediate families. We are expediting SIV processing at all stages of the process and are urgently working to assist SIV applicants. This effort is of utmost importance to the State Department, and we will continue to surge resources towards their assistance. Administrative processing of Special Immigrant Visas will continue, and applicants will be kept up to date of the status of their applications. There is no deadline on this work -- it will continue every day past August 31st," the Afghan man was told in the email.

However, beyond Tuesday, the Afghan man said he does not know who would help him or how he would safely evacuate.

"The Taliban keeps looking for the houses full of people and knocking on people's door," he said.

He remains glued to his emails hoping for instructions.

"We are humans. We've got young children," he said.