US Marines Forced to Clean Up Trash, Paint Over Obscene Graffiti Before Leaving Afghanistan - Report
21:44 GMT 29.09.2021 (Updated: 21:59 GMT 29.09.2021)
The hectic evacuation of US troops took place amid a lightning-fast offensive by the Taliban*, which took over the Afghan capital on August 15. The disorder and chaos at Kabul airport deteriorated further after a terrorist attack rocked the city, killing more than 180 people, including 13 US servicemen.
US Marines leaving the Kabul airport gave the Taliban and Daesh* a one-finger salute and scrawled dirty remarks on the walls, but were directed by commanders to remove the graffiti before leaving and pick up the trash scattered around in the last days of the withdrawal, The Washington Post reported.
Several examples of the insults were uploaded on social media, one of which depicted a serviceman in front of a tiled wall at Hamid Karzai Airport with the phrase "F*сk ISIS + Taliban" spray-painted in black paint, as well as an image of male genitalia smeared in purple.
And several others, still circulating on social networks, depict US soldiers and their Afghan allies with cardboard signs reading "F*сk the Taliban" in different variations.
However, an unidentified Marine stationed at Hamid Karzai reportedly said that the graffiti on the walls was removed on commanders' orders.
"My boys had to go … pick up every last piece of … trash for who? The Taliban?” the Marine is quoted in the report as saying. "It was a slap in the face to us."
According to the report, First Lt. Jack Coppola, a Marine spokesman, said the cleanup was enforced to avoid any flights leaving the airport being delayed. However, the reason for the removal of the graffiti was not clarified.
Meanwhile, to prevent the Taliban from using military equipment, troops were granted permission to destroy assets, including helicopters and armored trucks. The newspaper stated that many Marines described the event as cathartic, especially in the aftermath of a Daesh suicide bombing at one of the airport's entrances, the Abbey Gate, on August 26 that killed over 180 people, including 13 US service members.
According to the report, the troops had seen the horrors of Afghans attempting to exit the nation through the airport's Abbey Gate. Many of these forces were entrusted with security in order to prevent attacks and protect the Afghans and Americans at the airport. And because Taliban militants did not operate in that area, Abbey Gate became a much-desired destination for those Afghans seeking evacuation.
The US Marine reportedly said that given that the US service members witnessed horrific atrocities and many dead bodies near the airport during those days, knowing the threat the situation has posed to them and to those hoping to flee, the troops questioned their job.
“We wanted to be there,” the Marine stressed. “And then we realize that maybe I don’t want to be here, watching these people wade through this s**t river and wave papers, and I have to tell them no."
*Terrorist organizations banned in Russia and many other states.