The baby who was hoisted over a barbed wire fence at the Kabul Airport during the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has been located in the Phoenix area.
Liya, now 8-weeks-old, was just 17 days old when she was seen in the viral 9-second video being lifted to safety, resonating as a symbol of the desperation of the circumstances.
The baby’s father, Hameed, asked a Marine to assist in getting his daughter to safety, who warned that she might get hurt.
“He told me the only thing he could do was lift her over the barbed wire, but he said she’d be hurt. I told him I’ll take the chance. I’d rather her get hurt than die,” Hameed recalled.
(Video Credit: CBS5)
Hameed helped stabilize the Marine’s legs so he could reach over the fence and grab his young daughter by the arm. The mother made it inside the fence later that day.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 22, 2021
Hameed has not spoken to the Marine who pulled his baby over the wall, but a Marine who said rescued the baby is under investigation for speaking at a Trump rally in Georgia last month — the Marine Corps disputes his account.
Marine Lance Corporal Hunter Clark, who claimed to save Liya, made the crowd go wild when he appeared onstage alongside former President Donald Trump.
“I just want to thank all the support from all y’all. It really means a lot and I’m glad to be home now,” he said.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 1, 2021
Now that Liya is safe, Hameed explained what he would tell his daughter when she is older.
“When she’s older, I’ll tell her she’s a fighter. She made it through the worst of times at the beginning of her life,” the baby’s father said.
Hameed had worked for weeks behind the fence at the airport assisting with evacuation efforts as a linguist and cultural advisor, unable to leave when his wife Sadia endured a complicated delivery.
Hameed knew he needed to escape the Central Asian country after hearing reports of what was going on outside the fence.
“We got intel that people were getting killed, or going missing. By my affiliation [with the military], I knew my home would be next. It wasn’t a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,'” Hameed said.
He called his wife on August 19 to tell her it was time to come to the airport so they could flee.
Sadia, the baby’s mother made the harrowing journey to the airport but along the way was robbed by the Taliban of all of her money, jewelry, and passports. Hameed estimated that the items were worth around 30 to 40 thousand dollars, their entire life savings.
Hameed recalled that people were being beaten trying to get into the airport and he feared for his wife and daughter’s safety.
“They were passed out, they were bleeding, people got in with their arms broken, their legs broken, Hameed said.
“They were using water cannons and flashbangs to control the crowd. Every time a bang went off, I could see my daughter start screaming and crying. I couldn’t do anything to help,” Hameed recalled.
“I knew she’d never make it through. She’d be crushed to death, God forbid, or severely injured,” Hameed said.
The family’s full names were not disclosed due to security concerns as they still have family in Afghanistan. Hameed set up a GoFundMe page to request assistance with medical and legal expenses.
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