An Afghan interpreter who helped save President Biden in Afghanistan in 2008 when he was a senator has left the country safely with his wife and five children, the State Department confirmed to Nerdshala on Tuesday.
why it matters: Aman Khalili, who was instrumental in the mission that saved Biden’s helicopter after it was caught in a snowstorm, according to US veterans, was forced into hiding after the Taliban captured Kabul.
- He asked for help with the evacuation directly from Biden in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on 31 August.
Reference: When US troops fought the Taliban in 2008, Khalili was “there the whole time,” counter veteran Brian Genthe told the Washington Post.
- The interpreter would go six or seven months without seeing his family in his determination to “make his country right”, Genthe said.
- He worked with American troops to rescue Biden, who was then with Sens. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel were forced to descend into a valley hit by Taliban attacks.
description: The family arrived in Doha, Qatar, on Monday after the State Department requested the Pakistani government’s approval to send them to the Persian Gulf state on a US military flight.
big picture: Ganthe led the effort to evacuate Khalili and her family after the interpreter pleaded for help in a Facebook message.
- Khalili had applied for a special immigrant visa, which is granted to Afghan allies serving with US troops, but was forced to wait for the program to clear its backlog, according to CNN.
- He was among a crowd of people trying to secure safe places on their final flights out of the country during a US military withdrawal outside Kabul’s airport, but US soldiers told him that his family could not enter, according to the Journal. can.
- The State Department later agreed to assist Ganthe’s group of Arizona military veterinarians and Aid Nonprofit Human First Coalition Planning Khalili’s escape via Pakistan.
What are they saying: “After driving 144 hours day and night and going through so many checkpoints, my family was so scared, but right now it’s a kind of paradise,” Khalili told the journal. “Hell was in Afghanistan.”
- The State Department said in a statement to Nerdshala, Khalili “safely left the country with extensive and high-level engagement and coordination between the US government, private US citizen groups and many others.”
- A Human First spokesperson noted in an interview with Washpost that “there are thousands of people living in Afghanistan who have done similar things during the past 20 years, the acts of heroism protect Americans, perhaps not for anyone who does as much.” Famous as President, but who deserves to leave.”