A crush of desperate Afghans outside the Kabul airport passed babies and small children above their heads so Western soldiers could raise them over a wall topped with razor wire and give them refuge from the Taliban, photos and video showed.
One video showed a U.S. soldier with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit leaning precariously over the razor wire to grab a crying baby, then passing the child to another soldier.
The baby “was taken to a medical treatment facility on site and cared for by medical professionals,” U.S. Marines spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger told HuffPost.
“I can confirm the baby was reunited with their father and is safe at the airport. This is a true example of the professionalism of the Marines on site, who are making quick decisions in a dynamic situation in support of evacuation operations,” Stenger said.
Other video showed children being passed to soldiers across the top of a wall at a different part of the airport, which was not topped with wire.
A U.K. Parachute Regiment officer told U.K. newspaper The Independent that the mothers of the children were “getting beaten by the Taliban.”
“They shouted, ‘save my baby’ and threw the babies at us, some of the babies fell on the barbed wire,” the unnamed officer told the paper. “It was awful what happened. By the end of the night there wasn’t one man among us who was not crying.”
Another unnamed U.K. officer told Sky News that the soldiers had no choice in the chaotic situation but to accept the children.