Two days ago, Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh posted this defiant message to Twitter, saying he and President Ashraf Ghani “STAND FIRM AGAINST TALIBAN TERRORISTS & DO EVERTYHING TO STREGNTHEN THE NATIONAL RESISTANCE BY ALL MEANS AND WAYS. PERIOD’:
In today's meeting on national security chaired by Prz @ashrafghani it was decided with conviction & resolve that WE STAND FIRM AGAINST TALIBAN TERRORISTS & DO EVERTYHING TO STREGNTHEN THE NATIONAL RESISTANCE BY ALL MEANS AND WAYS. PERIOD. We are proud of our ANDSF.
— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 13, 2021
And poof, it’s over:
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves Afghanistan in face of Taliban advance on Kabul, a sign the government has collapsed https://t.co/vy4VlkVsj2
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 15, 2021
Editor’s note: The widely shared video of Ghani boarding the plane out of Afghanistan is from two months ago:
Here’s video of (now former?) President Ghani fleeing the country (translation: “Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves the country Video: Tasnim News):
Президент Афганистана Ашраф Гани покидает страну
Видео: Tasnim News pic.twitter.com/8CbBU7JOat
— Дождь (@tvrain) August 15, 2021
⚠️ This footage doing the rounds on social media does not show Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fleeing as Taliban fighters entered Kabul
— AFP Fact Check 🔎 (@AFPFactCheck) August 17, 2021
He’s reportedly gone to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, possibly with a lot of cash?
Ghani & co fled to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. Saw their helicopters flew out of Arg at 3:20pm. At Mohib’s residence in Arg, they left 3 land-cruisers full of dollars causing a fight among his guards while looting. I hope money is recovered. How much did they manage 2get away with?
— Ershad Ahmadi (@ErshadAhmadi) August 15, 2021
And, apparently, the rest of the government is trying to flee as well but aren’t having as much luck:
A source at the VIP terminal of the Kabul Airport says the waiting lounge and parking lot is full of advisors to the President, former ministers, MPs and others. "They keep coming," but their plane isn't being allowed to take off
— Ali M Latifi (@alibomaye) August 15, 2021
There are reports that Saleh fled, too:
#UPDATE Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left the country, reports say, quoting local officials.
It comes as Taliban reached the outskirts of Kabul.
Vice-president Amrullah Saleh is also reported to have fled. pic.twitter.com/CoASKVUHpj
— Mowliid Haji Abdi (@MowliidHaji) August 15, 2021
But he did post another defiant message to Twitter before allegedly leaving the country:
I will never, ever & under no circumstances bow to d Talib terrorists. I will never betray d soul & legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Masoud, the commander, the legend & the guide. I won't dis-appoint millions who listened to me. I will never be under one ceiling with Taliban. NEVER.
— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 15, 2021
In a statement posted to Facebook, Ghani said the Taliban “have won the judgment of sword and guns and now they are responsible for protecting the countrymen’s honor, wealth and self-esteem”:
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a (translated) Facebook post: "Taliban have won the judgement of sword and guns and now they are responsible for protecting the countrymen's honor, wealth and self-esteem." https://t.co/YyHp25KZnn pic.twitter.com/R1cEntjLmC
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 15, 2021
Editor’s note: We’ve updated the post and changed our headline.
Original: SEE YA: Here’s video of (former?) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country