Since the last military flight out of Kabul and the Khider District Massacre, both events occurring on 30 August 2021, Chapman and Pritchard have co-authored numerous heartbreaking stories about Afghans in peril.
By Scott Chapman and Russ Pritchard
Operation Freedom Birds facilitates safe and reliable air transport for American Citizens and Afghan Allies including asylum seekers currently hiding in Afghanistan. Acronyms associated with these categories include: AMCIT’s, SIV, P1 and P2. Primarily a volunteer organization with a pending 501C3 nonprofit status, Operation Freedom Birds does not hold a political view. It is a humanitarian operation to save lives in imminent danger from the Taliban. Through working relationships with other evacuation efforts and maintaining lines of communication with the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Members of Congress, and numerous subject matter experts, Operation Freedom Birds provides transport from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and operates strictly within airports and legal air spaces.
Flooded by requests from around the world, in a variety of languages, the common denominator vocalized to Operation Freedom Birds is a fear driven plea for help. Many have had friends and family tortured and killed by the Taliban; many are actively being hunted and in peril. Entire families, 15 or more, move every few days hoping to stay ahead of the Taliban while waiting for a mechanism of transport to safety.
This is one story:
Yasmoon left Afghanistan more than a decade ago and moved to the United Kingdom with her husband and infant daughter. She left behind three brothers, four sisters, and her parents. “I grew up in war,” says Yasmoon. “When I was a little girl, a rocket was fired into our home. It took my sister’s head off right in front of me. She died instantly. The explosion drove glass shrapnel into my leg. Decades have passed, and I still have the scars. The Taliban only allowed me four years of formal education. I vowed if I ever had the ability to leave, I would. I wouldn’t let my daughter grow up under the Taliban the way I did.”
Four years ago, one of Jasmine’s surviving three sisters divorced her husband - an act that is inconceivable under the Taliban. She’s still living in Afghanistan today. With the withdrawal of the American military and Afghanistan back under the Taliban, her divorce brought shame upon Yasmoon’s family. Her ex-husband is now part of the Taliban and is actively hunting Yasmoon’s sister with his comrades. The families have abandoned their homes and are fleeing for their lives. “The Taliban look for my sister and my other family members,” says Yasmoon. “ They go from house to house and tell our old neighbors they will find my sisters, rape, and kill them for bringing shame to the ex husband. They say when they find my family they will burn all of them as punishment for being part of a family that allowed divorce.”
Yasmoon’s family attempted to evacuate during the last month of American military presence in Afghanistan. They filed for Special Immigration Visas (SIV). They thought there was a plan to help the Afghan people; They thought they could find safety. Eleven family members, including children, are forced to relocate every 4-6 days to try and stay ahead of the Taliban. They’re learning how to survive in a city that’s hunting for them with no room for error.
“I’m here safely in the UK, and my family is in Afghanistan. I’m begging for help from anyone,” Yasmoon pleads, “Please, please help us! It doesn’t matter what country – just please help get my family out.”
Help us bring Yasmoon’s family to safety. Help Operation Freedom Birds.
Scott Chapman is an independent journalist, author, former Army Ranger, OGA Blackwater contractor, entrepreneur, husband, dog lover, and astrophysics scholar. Scott is the co-founder of the Afghan Medical Corps and can be reached at ScottChapmanAuthor@Protonmail.com
Russ Pritchard is an independent journalist, professional writer, former Chief Marketing Officer, flight medic, triathlete, husband, father, and grandfather. Russ is the co-founder of the Afghan Medical Corps and can be reached at RussPritchard@Protonmail.com