After a grueling trip and a 29-hour “forced stay” in Afghanistan, we decided to head to Bagram Air Base, which is the greatest symbol of the US and NATO, but which they had to evacuate. when they are withdrawn. On our way to the base, located 45 kilometers from Kabul, we passed a large number of Taliban checkpoints.
WE WALKED IN GREAT DANGER ON THE BASE WAY
We were in great danger when we stopped to photograph the military armored vehicles left by the United States. The Taliban forces, who came running towards us, warned us and pushed us away from the area. With their warning, we escaped at the last moment to enter the mined area. When we arrived at the base, our authorizations were checked by the Taliban forces at the entrance, and information was given to the commanders in charge of the base. After a long wait, we were granted permission for the second time to take photos and prepare news inside the Bagram base, which we entered. The Taliban accompanied us as we visited the interior of the base.
THE RESTAURANTS ARE ALL CLOSED
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It took us hours to get around the Bagram base, which was built over an area the size of a town. Taliban forces put on a show at Bagram, the main headquarters of US forces and the NATO air base. Located about 45 kilometers north of the capital Kabul, Bagram was the largest NATO air base in Afghanistan, as well as the main headquarters of US forces in the country. With the withdrawal of American and NATO forces, the base is left to the Taliban. The Taliban flag now flies in Bagram. In the city-sized towers of the base, the Taliban armed forces stand guard. While the Americans were gone, they also left plenty of pet water bottles, ready meals, energy drinks, sports equipment, and phones in Bagram. There were large hangars, control towers, housing, gymnasiums, branches of many well-known fast food chains at the top. Now everything is closed …
‘THIS IS HOW WE HAVE KNOWN THE UNITED STATES’
Responding to questions with his forces under one of the base towers, the Taliban commander said, “It is the Mujahedin who bring America, the infidels, to their knees. We dealt a blow to the Americans, and we drove them from our occupied lands by fighting. In the 20-year war, the Mujahedin won, America lost. The victory was for the Mujahedin, for Islam. This land is the land of the martyrs, it is the hour of awakening. “We will defeat the infidels all over the world,” he said.
US AND NATO USED 20 YEARS
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Located north of the capital Kabul, Bagram Air Base was built by the United States in the late 1950s. After the Soviet invasion in 1979, this base became an important center of operations. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States settled in this base surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Hindu Kush. A small portion of the Twin Towers wreckage was also buried at the base. The name of the base, which includes a prison, was also mentioned among the “black facilities” where the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used torture methods. The United States has created a “Little America” with a population of 10,000 through Burger King, movie screenings and marches in Bagram. Bagram, which also has markets, fast food kiosks, gyms and a cafe with nicknames such as “the mother of all cafes”, was the most important symbol of the US presence in Afghanistan. The base, which was visited by US Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, had reached 30,000 US troops at a time. The United States evacuated the base in early July.
TALİBAN’DAN KAÇIP TALİBAN’A KALDILAR …
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Immediately after the United States announced it would withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban forces also took action. After the Taliban took control of areas outside Kabul, 8,500 people, mostly children and women, fled areas such as Kunduz, Tahar, Baglan and Daykundi and migrated to the capital. Families in makeshift nylon tents struggle to survive in harsh conditions. As Kabul is under the control of the Taliban, they wait in anxiety and fear. Families seek support from international aid organizations.
8,500 people, mostly children and women, are fighting for their lives in makeshift tents in Kabul.
Leylaman Cumahan, who said he immigrated to Kabul with his family of 15 from Kunduz town, said: “When the Taliban attacked our town, we fled with my family out of fear, we came to Kabul. We stayed here on the street with no food or drink. There is no one to help us, we are in a desperate situation. Seytgül İbrahim’s face also shows concern: “After days of fleeing the Taliban with my family, we have reached Kabul. Here we stay where we made it from nylon. No drinking water, no toilets, no food. All my children are sick. We fled for fear the Taliban would kill us, now there are the Taliban here, we don’t know what to do, we are afraid. “
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The Taliban forces, circling the base in pickup trucks with rockets and heavy machine guns, and taking a close look at the cockpit of the military helicopter that the United States left in the hangar after rendering it unusable, gave us lots of visibility.