Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refused to refer to the Taliban as an “enemy” during a Fox News interview on Thursday, causing concern among those already angered over the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis in Afghanistan.
“Does the U.S. military consider the Taliban an enemy?” host Bret Baier asked Kirby.
“We are focused right now — the thing we’re working against right now is time and space,” Kirby said during the “Special Report” interview on Fox News.
“And we want to get as many people out of Kabul as we can in as little amount of time as we can. [We’ve] had no hostile interactions right now between American forces and the Taliban and we want to keep it that way,” he added.
RNC Research tweeted on Friday, “WATCH: Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby refuses to call the Taliban an ‘enemy.’
“Biden has also refused to condemn the terrorist group since the fall of Afghanistan.”
WATCH: Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby refuses to call the Taliban an “enemy.”
Biden has also refused to condemn the terrorist group since the fall of Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/GjZHOS1OSC
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 19, 2021
The information comes as a new report indicates the Taliban has begun exacting deadly revenge on Afghan citizens who opposed its rule.
Ryan Rogers, a retired Marine sergeant, told Fox News that an interpreter he worked with in 2010 was unable to leave the city of Kabul for the nearby airport and had witnessed retribution killings as he tried to survive.
“He told me yesterday they hung three [Afghan National Army] commanders that they had found,” Rogers said Thursday. “And that close to the place that he’s hiding, they’re going house-to-house and that they sent a transmission out saying they had plans for the people that operated with America.”
He said the interpreter was alive as of Thursday afternoon.
“I said, ‘Hey, did you see any of this stuff with your eyes?’ He said yes,” Rogers said.
“They’re not showing this stuff because the people are cheering, but they’re scared to death, and they’re hanging these people,” he said.
“He said they’re going house to house and their priorities are Afghan National Army Special Forces, the police special forces and the interpreters.”
Rogers took medical retirement from the Marines after being injured in the battle for Marjah, according to Fox News. In April, the North Carolina resident wrote a book on the war that included the interpreter who is now in danger.
The interpreter tried to flee to the airport on Wednesday but retreated after gunshots at Taliban checkpoints convinced him it was not safe.
“It was desperate,” Rogers said. “He said, ‘I have my pistol, and they’re never going to take me. There’s no way it can end like this. It can only end one way — glory be to God.’ I mean, he was scared.”
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