Taliban Flag-Raising Photo Draws Condemnation as Kabul Evacuations Continue

Taliban fighters were pictured hoisting their flag in a way that appeared to emulate the iconic flag raising at Iwo Jima during World War II. Recent evacuations from the country include an all-girls robotics team and CNN reporter Clarissa Ward.

It’s a jarring photo staged for maximum effect: Taliban warriors seen raising their flag in a way that evokes the iconic flag raising at Iwo Jima during World War II. The fighters pictured dressed head-to-toe in American combat gear. 

The photo was widely condemned as “mocking” the United States after it was released.

As the chaos at Kabul airport continues, U.S. troops are doing what they can to offer humanitarian aid, including pouring out bottled water for children who have been waiting hours under the baking sun.

A soldier was seen cradling a baby in his arms. One youngster got lost in the airport crush. Her desperate loved ones put up a missing poster.

Among the lucky ones to get out of the country was an all-girls robotics team, who made headlines in 2017 when they competed in a robotics contest in Washington.

Allyson Reneau, who lives in Oklahoma and met the girls in 2019, helped arrange their flight.  

“They're safe. That was the number one goal, was to get them to a safe and secure place,” Reneau said.

Also now on safe ground is CNN reporter Clarissa Ward, who had many tense moments in her fearless reporting from Kabul. She got on an evacuation flight and is now back with her kids and husband in France, where they live.

“It was absolutely a wonderful feeling to hug my little boys,” Ward said.

She choked up as she told her colleague Brian Stelter that her translator had also managed to escape.

“He was on the edge of tears and we're trying to comfort him and tell him it's going to be OK. Thank God he got on the plane,” Ward said.

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