A photo of an Afghan child sleeping on the cargo floor of a US Air Force C-17 amid the chaos in the country has captured the hearts of all concerned for Afghanistan’s most vulnerable .
Tucked in an aviator’s uniform, the boy has a moment’s rest during an evacuation flight that left Kabul on Wednesday, according to USA Today.
The jacket was reportedly borrowed from Airman 1st Class Nicolas Baron, a C-17 loadmaster, to help keep the child warm.
“To the outstanding airmen who have worked tirelessly and selflessly over the past few days to evacuate Afghans, Americans and the vulnerable, I want to thank you personally for your sacrifices and applaud your bravery,” said the Chief of Staff. Air Force Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. tweeted with the photo on Thursday.
The photo has gone viral on social media as a symbol of the sometimes invisible victims of political upheaval in the country.
The United States frantically evacuated people after the Taliban entered Kabul last Sunday, shortly after President Biden withdrew most of the American troops.
Officials said there were 5,200 US troops on the ground in Kabul this week and that at this point they had airlifted around 7,000 evacuees – an increase they say reflects both a rise in aircraft power and airlift capabilities, faster processing of evacuees, and greater information and reliability in reporting. ”
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Other evocative images of children in Afghanistan included one of a homeless child sleeping in a Kabul park, a video of a child who was shot over a wall and handed over to a US soldier on a ladder and a photo of a baby razor wire. to American soldiers at Kabul airport.
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