AMERICAS FINAL ACT IN AFGHANISTAN. LONGEST WAR, AND IT INVOLVES GETTING MANY AMERICANS. Many AFGHANS LOYAL TO AMERICA TO RUN A KIND OF GAUNTLET FROM THE CENTER OF KABUL UP TO THE MAIN AIRPORT, WHERE THEY HOPE TO GET FLIGHTS TO THE UNITED STATES, MAYBE ELSEWHERE AND START A NEW LIFE IN SAFETY.. For THAT THEY MUST GO THROUGH AN EXTRAORDINARY CHALLENGE.. What SHOULD BE THE EASIEST DRIVE IN KABUL IS THE REASON THE CITY IS ON EDGE. HEAD UP THE MAIN AIRPORT ROAD SINCE MONDAY, WHEN I DROVE IT, WHEN YOU RUN INTO THE TALIBAN, THEN THEY WERE BEATING PEOPLE BACK, PERHAPS TO CLEAR THE CIVILIAN RUNWAY CROWDED WITH DESPERATE People THEN. BY WEDNESDAY, IT HAD GOTTEN WORSE WHEN THEY WERE CLEARLY STOPPING PEOPLE FROM USING THEIR ESCAPE TO AMERICA AND ACCOSTING CNN. TALIBAN CONTROL THAT ROAD THE ENTRANCE AT THE END OF IT AND THE ROAD TO THE LEFT.. Now MANY ARE TRYING TO GET IN FROM THE NORTH ROAD, BUT THAT HAS LED TO DEVASTATING SCENES AT THE NORTH GATE.. When I WAS THERE, THE CRUSH WAS DANGEROUS AND THE NUMBERS JUST GROWING FURTHER STILL.. At NIGHT, STUN GRENADES HAVE BEEN THROWN WHEN HUGE CROWDS STILL BRAVE ROAMING TALIBAN IN THE DARK. In THE HOPE, THE NUMBERS AT THE GATE HAVE DROPPED.. In THE DAY IT GOT NASTIER STILL.. There WERE MOMENTS OF HOPE, BUT THEY CARRY RISK. When PEOPLE SEE ONE SUCCESS, THEY MIGHT WANT TO TRY THE SAME THING EN MASSE. LATER IN THE DAY, BECAUSE TROOPS HAD TO REPEL THE CROWD.

. Another GATEWAY SEEMS TO BE BRITISH SOLDIERS STRUGGLED TO PUSH BACK CROWDS AND HUGE QUEUES ARE FORMED. Blocking THE STREETS. AMERICA HAS A NUMBERS PROBLEM GETTING ENOUGH PEOPLE ON., BUT ALSO CLAIMING HUGE PROGRESS, WHILE NOT REALLY KNOWING HOW MANY PRIORITY CASES. They ARE REALLY SEEKING. HOW AMERICAN CITIZENS REMAIN IN AFGHANISTAN. I DONT KNOW.. We KNOW 6000 PEOPLE ARE NOW AT THE AIRPORT. 6000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE IT HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THE PROCESSING AND AS OF A COUPLE HOURS AGO, WE RECEIVED ONLY A SMALL HANDFUL OF REPORTS. Otherwise, FROM THE AMERICANS. INSIDE IT IS MESSY.. There ARE FLIGHTS, OFTEN MANY OF THEM WHERE LIVES ARE WALKED ONTO C17S AND CHANGED FOREVER WHEN THE DOORS CLOSE. THE STORY OF THE AIRPORT. The LAST PLACE AMERICA CONTROLS IN AFGHANISTAN, WHERE THE CHAOS OUTSIDE THE WIRE MEANS THE PROMISES INSIDE FALL. Perilously SHORT. THE U.S. TALKED OF LOFTY GOALS OF TRYING TO GET 5 TO 9000 PEOPLE FLOWN OUT EVERY DAY, AND THEY CLAIMED THAT THEY HAVE NOW ON THEIR AIRPORT 6000 PEOPLE PROCESSED AND READY TO GET ON AIRCRAFT.. That WILL BE EXTRAORDINARY IF THAT HAD INDEED OCCURRED.. They ALSO ADMIT, AS YOU HEARD THERE, THAT THEY DONT KNOW HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE OUT THERE IN AFGHANISTAN, HOPING TO GET OUT. EXTRAORDINARY, NOT TO HAVE THAT BASIC NUMBER THERE TO QUANTIFY HOW BIG A TASK IS AHEAD.. So FOR THE DAYS AHEAD. There ARE CONCERNS THAT ONCE AGAIN IN AFGHANISTAN, THE REALITY OF THE GROUND, THOSE TERRIFYING SCENES OUTSIDE THE AIRPORT EVEN TODAY, ARE SIMPLY NOT MATCHED OR RECOGNIZED BY THE STATEMENTS FROM AMERICAN OFFICIALS.

NICK PATON, WALSH, CNN DOHA.. Many AFGHANS WHO MANAGED TO BOARD A FLIGHT ARE FACING UNCERTAIN FUTURES. Some HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY WILL ACTUALLY END UP. GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE, STILL FINALIZING DETAILS ON WHICH COUNTRIES WILL HOST REFUGEES. NATO FOREIGN MINISTERS WILL MEET IN THE COMING HOURS TO ADDRESS THE CRISIS.. Well, WE KNOW NOW IS THAT THE U.S. SAYS IT WILL TAKE IN 30000 AFGHANS., THE UK AND CANADA 20000 EACH.. Meanwhile, TURKEYS PRESIDENT IS CALLING EU LEADERS TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY, SAYING HIS COUNTRY WILL NOT BE EUROPES. Refugee WAREHOUSE. WAVES OF AFGHAN EVACUATIONS POURING INTO DUBAIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON MILITARY PLANES., THE UAE HAS BECOME AN EVACUATION HUB AND THE FIRST STOP FOR MANY AS PEOPLE BEGIN THEIR LIVES IN NEW LANDS. CNNS. Eleni GIOKOS IS HERE WITH MORE.. This ROYAL AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT CARRYING PASSENGERS FROM KABUL LANDING HERE IN DUBAI WORLD SCENT NOW, ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, AROUND 1600 EVACUEES FROM AFGHANISTAN.. These ARE ELIGIBLE AFGHANS, WITH PAPERWORK AND VISAS, AS WELL AS BRITISH CITIZENS WHO HAVE BEEN EVACUATED OVER THE LAST 4 DAYS AND COMING HERE TO THE UAE. UPON ARRIVAL THESE PEOPLE, PASSENGERS ARE GIVEN MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. TESTED FOR COVID AND GIVEN, OF COURSE, FOOD AND MUCH NEEDED WATER.. If YOU LOOK AT THE EXPRESSION ON THE PASSENGERS FACES, YOU SEE ALMOST PAIN AND NUMBNESS AND A SENSE OF TRAUMA.. One NEEDS TO REFLECT ON THE CHAOTIC SCENES AROUND KABUL AIRPORT. JUST GETTING TO THE AIRPORT WAS A HERCULEAN TASK. TRYING TO GET THROUGH THOSE TALIBAN CHECKPOINTS AND TRYING TO GET THROUGH THE AIR POINT.

Checkpoints TO FINALLY GET ON AIRCRAFT LEAVING KABUL AND COME TO AN AIRPORT LIKE THIS, WHERE YOU ARE SEEING ASSISTANTS ALL AROUND.. Some PEOPLE CARRYING JUST PLASTIC BAGS WITH THEIR BELONGINGS, SOME JUST CARRYING GARBAGE BAGS. OTHERS BEING ABLE TO TAKE SOME OF THEIR BELONGINGS AND WE ARE SEEING LUGGAGE BEING CARRIED OUT. YOUVE GOT TO REMEMBER THIS IS A MILITARY AIRCRAFT.. This WASNT MADE TO HANDLE PASSENGERS.. You KNOW FOR A LONG FLIGHT., SO YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THE EXPERIENCE MUST BE: LIKE., THE ONLY SEMBLANCE OF HOPE I CAN SAY, AND JUST NORMALCY, IVE SEEN AS WHEN YOU SEE TODDLERS AND CHILDREN THAT ARE ACCOMPANYING THESE VERY TRAUMATIZED ADULTS RUNNING AROUND AND PLAYING AND Smiling – AND IT KIND OF GIVES YOU A SENSE – THESE PEOPLE ESCAPED A VERY HOPELESS SITUATION., ELENI, GIOKOS, CNN DUBAI.. Now THE U.S. SAYS IT IS WORKING OVERTIME TO APPROVE A SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISAS FOR THE AFGHANS FLEEING THE TALIBAN., A HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIAL SAYS IT IS ALL HANDS ON DECK SITUATION., BUT THE VISA PROGRAM IS SAID TO BE BOGGED DOWN BY SYSTEMIC ISSUES. Bureaucracy. ONE U.S. OFFICIAL TOLD CNN THAT THE SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA PROCESS IS VERY SLOW, BUT THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE ATTENTION TO FIX IT. THE PROGRAM BEGAN IN 2009 FOR AFGHAN CITIZENS AND THEIR FAMILIES, WHO WORKED FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.. Meanwhile, MEXICO HAS STARTED PROCESSING REFUGEE ASYLUM APPLICATIONS ON WEDNESDAY.. Mexico HAS NOT SAID HOW MANY REFUGEES HAVE PLANS TO ACCEPT.. Our CORRESPONDENT IS LIVE FROM ISTANBUL WITH MORE.

LETS START WITH WHAT IS A MESS AT THE AIRPORT., AND NOW YOUVE GOT THE U.S. NEGOTIATING WITH THE VICTOR. The TALIBAN TO GET SAFE PASSAGE JUST TO GET TO THE AIRPORT, LET ALONE GET IN. ITS BIZARRE REALLY., ITS QUITE STUNNING, MICHAEL TO SEE THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY HAVING TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE TALIBAN HAVING TO RELY ON. They ARE SURE INSTANCES TO BE ABLE TO RUN THIS OPERATION TO KEEP IT GOING.. We UNDERSTAND FROM U.S. OFFICIALS THAT WE HAVE CHANNELS OPEN WITH THE TALIBAN. They ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THEM TO CONTINUE THAT THE AIRPORT CONTINUES THE EVACUATIONS.. We UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS THE TOP U.S. COMMANDER ON THE GROUND LEADING THE NEGOTIATIONS.. He IS TALKING TO WHAT HE CALLS HIS TALIBAN COUNTERPARTS., BUT ONE ISSUE THAT THE U.S. HAS BEEN FACING, THAT THEY HAVE THESE NEGOTIATIONS OPEN AND, YES, SOME OF ACCUSATION FLIGHTS ARE TAKING PLACE.. One OF THE ISSUES HAS BEEN THAT THEY DONT REALLY STILL TO THIS MOMENT THE STRUCTURE WHEN IT COMES TO THE TALIBAN, WHO IS CONTROLLING WHAT. AND WHAT IS BEING NEGOTIATED BETWEEN THESE COMMANDERS, WHETHER THAT IS BEING COMMUNICATED DOWN TO THE FIGHTERS CONTROLLING THE CHECKPOINTS WHO ARE CONTROLLING The STREETS. – AND THIS IS PERHAPS ONE OF THE REASONS WE ARE SEEING – WHAT WE ARE SEEING FROM OUR TEAM ON THE GROUND. The REPORTS OF PEOPLE FACING THESE OBSTACLES OF HARASSMENT, BEATINGS IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO GET TO THE AIRPORT. AND MANY REPORTS OF PEOPLE BEING BLOCKED BY THE TALIBAN.

, OBVIOUSLY MICHAEL AFTER WHAT HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THIS CATASTROPHIC OPERATION AND THIS EVACUATION AT THE AIRPORT. U.S. OFFICIALS ARE REALLY TRYING HARD TO PROTECT PROJECT, THIS IMAGE THAT THINGS ARE UNDER CONTROL AND THAT THINGS ARE STARTING TO RUN SMOOTHLY.. That IS THE MESSAGING WE ARE SEEING FROM D.C. OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS.. Of COURSE, THE REALITY ON THE GROUND IS VERY DIFFERENT.. We HAVE TO SEE WHETHER IT IS LIKE TODAY., BUT WE UNDERSTAND A SHORT TIME AGO, A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCING THAT THEY HAVE MANAGED TO GET 3000 PEOPLE EVACUATED ON THURSDAY.. He SAYS THAT THAT INCLUDES 350 U.S. CITIZENS, THERES ALSO FAMILY MEMBERS, APPLICANTS FOR THE SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISAS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND OTHER VULNERABLE AFGHANS.. They WERE ON 16 C 17 PLANES OVER AFGHANISTAN AND THE U.S. MANAGED THEY SAY TO ARRANGE 11 OTHER CHARTER FLIGHTS.. But MICHAEL, AS YOU HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING WITH YOUR GUESTS, GETTING TO THE AIRPORT IS JUST ONE OF THOSE CHALLENGES. GETTING PEOPLE ON THESE FLIGHTS IS JUST ONE PART OF GETTING OUT OF THE COUNTRY. YOUVE GOT THAT VERY, VERY DANGEROUS JOURNEY OF TRYING TO GET TO THE AIRPORT. Where PEOPLE ARE FACING THE CHALLENGES. U.S.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t-luO6RY6I