Afghans Fly Caravan to Safety
Sometimes waiting for help isn’t the answer, and you have to take action. That was the case for 12 Afghan air force pilots and one of their crew chiefs who commandeered a “Hellfire Caravan” and flew to Tajikistan as the Taliban moved closer to the airport in Kabul. The group has asked the Canadian government to fly them out and provide refuge.
A “Hellfire Caravan” is a single engine Cessna that is capable of launching Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.
The pilots, who flew attack helicopters and aircraft against the Taliban, believe that, if they stayed, they would have been executed. “They will kill us,” one of the pilots said. “We are sure they will kill us because we are fighter pilots.”
The pilot who flew the Hellfire said the Afghan air force ran out of ammunition for its aircraft weeks before the Taliban takeover and their only option was to fly to the relative safety of neighboring Tajikistan. While the pilots feel safe for now, they said they are concerned that they could become diplomatic pawns if the Tajik government tries to curry favor with the Taliban.