tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN August 28, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
hey! it's me. the longer you've been with us... the more rewards you can get. like sharpening your cooking skills with a top chef. join for free on the xfinity app and watch all the rewards float in. our thanks. your rewards. this is cnn breaking news. welcome to cnn. thanks for joining me. i'm robyn curnow live in atlanta. at this hour, we are following two major stories. the u.s. embassy in kabul has issued a security alert. telling all american citizens to stay clear of the kabul airport. now, it comes just hours after president joe biden warned that another terror attack is, quote, highly likely in the next 24 to 36 hours. we'll have much more on that, coming up. but first, i do want to
follow -- i do want to track this story. we are, of course, following this potentially catastrophic hurricane barreling towards the u.s. gulf coast. within just the last few minutes, the ida was upgraded to a major hurricane. a category 3 storm. and is expected to rapidly intensify even more in the coming hours. it's forecast to pummel the -- the louisiana coast sunday as a category 4 storm now. both, mandatory and voluntary evacuations have been ordered for several louisiana parishes, as officials warn of these life-threatening situations. louisiana's governor is stressing the dangerous and historic threat of hurricane ida. >> what we're telling people is you just have a few more hours really to prepare because early-tomorrow morning, we're going to have the weather degrade rather rapidly. storm surge is going to be up to 15 feet, which is gonna test all of our protection systems down along the coast.
this is just a very serious storm. it'll be one of the very strongest storms to hit louisiana since the 1850s. >> well, let's talk about all of this with tyler mauldin. tyler, hi. just give us a sense of -- of where it's heading right now. >> hurricane ida has begun its rapid intensification process, robyn. it's about 185 miles to the south of houma, louisiana. about 100 miles to the south-southeast of the mouth of the mississippi river. and it's heading right in that direction. sustained wind right now of 115 miles per hour so it has strengthened by 15 miles per hour just within four hours. gusts are all the way up to 125. it's gonna continue to rapidly intensify, unfortunately. once we get to sunrise, we're looking at a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130. gusts as high as 150. it then makes landfall somewhere between grand isle and houma, louisiana, around, i would say,
3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, going to 6:00, 7:00 in the evening. so late afternoon, early evening. and it will make landfall as a major hurricane. it then rapidly weakens, dumps a lot of rainfall across the area, and brings the threat for severe weather and storm surge. let me take you through that right now, too. notice that the eye is already visible on radar. the outer bands, which are packing a punch already for the panhandle of florida all the way into coastal louisiana. these are going to continue to push to the north. conditions are going to start going downhill very quickly within the coming hours. we have a hurricane warning up for the area in red. that does include the city of new orleans, baton rouge, grand isle, houma, louisiana. morgan city. then, you get north of baton rouge and you've got this area here in blue under a tropical-storm warning. that does include mobile . in addition to that, coastal
mississippi, coastal alabama, you are under storm surge warning, as well. we are going to see the storm surge get potentially all the way up near 15 feet near the mouth of the mississippi river. grand isle, you will get 15. in some areas, around 10 or 11 so we have got an area that could see at least a 9 foot storm surge. we could also see rain get up to maybe 15 inches in spots. isolated areas, as high as 20. and on that nasty, right side of the storm. well, areas like mobile, they could see severe weather in terms of tornados because these -- these outer bands come to shore and they rotate and they spark these tornados. that's going to lead, robyn, to, yes, power outages unfortunately. >> okay. we will check in with you in about 20 minutes' time, again. because it's clearly moving faster and bigger and really a real issue for many people on the ground there. this is potentially devastating, tyler, we will check in with you as i said in 20 more minutes. thanks so much. stand by. so, ida will hit the
louisiana coast on the 16th anniversary of hurricane katrina's landfall. and ida is also barreling towards a section of the state that really hasn't fully recovered from two hurricanes last year. well, jason carroll has the latest. >> reporter: houma looks more like a ghost town. boarded-up buildings, sandbags in front of buildings, as well. houma could end up being ground zero for hurricane ida if some of these predictions end up being correct. houma, also, under a mandatory evacuation order. the sheriff out here basically saying that he estimates anywhere between 60 to 80% of the residents have, in fact, left town. the state's governor saying, if anyone wants to leave town, time is running out. but given all of that, there are still some folks that we found out here, mostly longtime residents, who say they plan to stay put. >> so you are not going -- you are not going to evacuate. do you have any concerns about
staying? >> tornados and the wind damage. i'm more worried about what we gonna come home to. go down that way. because probably -- if -- if they have any bad damage here, we have nothing. >> is there anything that anyone can say to convince you to -- to evacuate? >> you drive me now? because i ain't getting on no interstate. i'm scared. >> you're more scared of -- >> more scared of the interstate, than staying in the house right here. >> reporter: meteorologists predicting that this is going to be a severe-wind event. it will likely be a severe-flooding event. but despite all of that, not only the woman that you just heard from there planned to stay put. but two people who live right here on this very street say they plan on doing the same. jason carroll, cnn, houma, louisiana. >> thanks, jason, for that. so once the hurricane makes landfall, it should leave many people desperate for help. and an organization that is always ready to step up and lend a helping hand is red cross.
so joining me now from that organization is spokesperson nicole mall in baton rouge, louisiana. nicole, hi. so this storm -- um -- there is a warning that it is un-survivable. what are you preparing for here? >> well, we were preparing for -- for the worst, right? we know that this is going to have a significant impact for the state of louisiana and the surrounding area. so for us, as the american red cross, our priority is getting folks here help shelter people who are evacuating. safety is going to be the highest priority for people. and you know, we heard from that previous story there are folks staying behind. and i can't urge you strongly enough. if you are being told by those officials in your community to evacuate, that is the safest thing you can do. and we've got shelters open throughout the state to be able to help families who need that support. >> is time running out, then, for people to get out of harm's way? i mean, what -- what's the window here. >> and how quickly is it closing? >> you know, we really got to
listen to our -- our officials on this one in the community. however, for those families who are staying behind, this is the time to be prepared. safety is going to have to be the top priority. making sure the things that you need for your family to be resilient for this. however, this storm is going to be serious and we want everyone to take it just as seriously. you know, we have got hundreds of red-crossers on the ground here in louisiana. i am in baton rouge right now. and what we've been doing, we've seen the community coming together to really get people prepared to help keep them safe. however, we're hearing folks are going to stay behind. that means preparedness is more important, really, than ever. >> are you expecting casualties? and with that in mind, how concerned are you then about hospital emergency capabilities? particularly, because louisiana is already -- is already struggling with -- with -- with covid. >> when we think about safety, it's safety for -- for people who are going to be affected by the storm.
it's safety in the world that we live in with covid, right? and it's gonna be something we're focusing on and we're prioritizing. now, to speak to the other stuff that's really hard to say. what we are doing right now, taking care of people. enhanced safety measures, right? how can we work with our local community partners whether that's -- um -- government agencies, the hospital systems, and really be a partner in this response for what that's going to look like. you know, we've got quite a few people here. we can identify what the needs are in the community, help build those bridges -- um but safety has to be the first priority here. and, you know, as we see this storm approaching -- um -- we're just urging everyone to take this very, very seriously. >> from the american red cross, nicole mall, really appreciate it. also, all the work that you and your teams are doing on the ground and will be doing on the ground in the coming hours. um, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. so, fears are growing that thursday's deadly bombing at the kabul airport may not be the
last. coming up, the urgent warning from the u.s. embassy telling americans to get away from the airport. plus, the courageous female activists who refuse to quit fighting for women's rights in afghanistan. we have those stories, next. you're watching cnn. i'm not hungry! you're having one more bite! no! one more bite! ♪ kraft. for the win win.
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to leave the area around the kabul airport citing a specific and credible threat. now, this alert comes after thursday's deadly bombing. and two days before u.s. troops are supposed to be out of afghanistan. the u.s. has hit back at isis-linked militants it says are behind the blast. the pentagon reports two high-profile isis-k militants were killed, one wounded in a u.s. air strike near jalalabad. the aftermath, seen in this exclusive video, shows the damage around the building and inside it. u.s. president joe biden is vowing the strike against isis-k won't be the last. here's how pentagon spokesperson described the ongoing threat. >> nobody's writing this off and saying, well, we got them so we don't have to worry about isis-k anymore. not the case. as i said earlier, the -- the threat stream is still active, still dynamic. we're still laser focused on that and force protection. and we aren't thinking, for a minute, that what happened yesterday gets us in the clear.
not a minute. but do we believe that we hit valid targets, bad guys who can do bad things and can plan bad missions? absolutely. and do we think that that will have some impact on their ability, going forward? absolutely. >> john kirby of the pentagon there. so, cnn senior international correspondent, ivan watson, joins me now from hong kong. and white house reporter jasmine wright is in washington. ivan, hi. i'm going to come to you, first. of course, here these warnings about another attack at the kabul airport. already, amplifying an already-dangerous security situation on the ground. what else do we know about this? >> well, i mean, look at the warnings that preceded thursday's devastating suicide bomb attack. they sounded similar. they were urging those crowds to stay away from the airport gates. and then, the suicide bomber struck with such devastating consequences. more than 160 afghan civilians killed. many more, maimed. and of course, 13 u.s. service
personnel. and so, when these fresh warnings are coming out not only from president biden, himself, but the u.s. embassy, echoed by the australian department of foreign affairs. there is reason, most likely, for this. and -- and part of it is the timeline. if you are a suicidal jihadi bomber and you want to kill americans, you have basically two days left to try to do that and they are at hamid karzai international airport. so, that is the target. not only the troops and diplomats on the ground. but also, the aircraft coming in and out and that's where there is so much concern and anxiety about these last 48 hours. the u.s. military has told us a little bit more about this retaliatory air strike. we have some images from this house outside of the eastern city of jalalabad in nangarhar where the drone strike took place on saturday.
where the u.s. military says that they killed two suspected isis-k planners, as well as injuring another. meanwhile, some of the people on the ground there who were speaking with local journalists, they have given a different narrative. take a listen to what one neighbor had to say. >> translator: when we arrived, there were wounded people and the dead were also lying there. approximately three people have been killed and a number were injured. among them, women and children. among the dead were one woman, one man, and one child. after that, we took the wounded out and transported them to the hospital. >> reporter: the u.s. military says it noknows of no civilian casualties. one final note, the taliban has condemned that american drone strike. it has also announced via a spokesperson that the borders will open up after all foreign troops withdrawal and the
international airport will open up. signaling to afghans that they will be able to travel out of the country. the state department has said they have to see that in deeds, not just in words, in the weeks and months ahead, robyn. >> thanks so much. ivan watson there and of course, ivan has covered afghanistan for many, many years. and now, to jasmine wright in d.c. jasmine, hi. good to see you, as well. so, john kirby there at the pentagon reiterating this saying the drone strike on isis-k won't be the last. certainly, a signal of a new operational environment in afghanistan after 20 years on the ground. >> yeah, robyn. president biden is vowing to do more because thursday's attack that left 13 u.s. service members -- um -- was no doubt a worst-case scenario for this president. one that officials say that day, thursday, has now become one of the worst of his presidency. and so now, while another attack, though it would not be
surprising because of that highly likely warning of another attack on the 24 to 36 hours at the kabul airport. it would be devastating. so that's why you see president biden saying that this won't be the last strike because not only is he signaling that, yes, this is retaliation. the u.s. will defend itself. but he is also trying to thwart and really disrupt any potential, future bombings as the -- as the -- the troops near closer to that -- um -- august 31st drawdown date. and so, we heard from john kirby right in that clip before. and in that moment, in that briefing, robyn, he wouldn't get any specifics of when a next attack could come. he just -- excuse me -- when a next strike could come. he just said that the u.s. will leverage their over-the-horizon capabilities. and that -- and that use of over-the-horizon capabilities is something that president biden, himself, touted as why he was okay with withdrawing from
afghanistan. because those drone abilities would allow the u.s. to keep their thumb on any bad actors that would seek to harm the u.s. but the question, going forward, is really how successful is this strike? we just heard john kirby say that they -- they -- while it will impact some of their ability going forward, not for a minute does the u.s. think that they are now in the clear. so we will see president biden really leaning on this over-the-horizon capability not just in the next two days but likely over time after that drawdown. robyn. >> thanks so much, jasmine wright there. appreciate it. but as -- as many afghans hope to catch a flight out while they still can, fear is certainly growing among some of those who will stay, including many women who are terrified of the taliban's return to power. as anna coren now reports, some female activists are choosing to stay to keep fighting for women's rights. here's anna's piece. >> reporter: i'm in my house waiting for any help and support
for protection. due to the dangerous situation, my family has stopped me coming on the media. i think we will be left here in this hell under the dark shadow of this tyranny. testimonies from women inside afghanistan. all across the country, they are dreading the taliban's return to power. wondering what it will mean for them. many are desperately trying to escape. entire lives, dreams shattered. their fears are not unfounded. under taliban rule in the '90s and early 2000s, the group denied women basic rights. forcing them to cover their entire bodies. banning them from the workplace. and prohibiting most education for girls. driving many schools, like this one, underground. the taliban's longtime spokesman says women's rights will be
protected within islamic sharia law. >> there will be no violence against woman, no discrimination against womans. of course, based within the framework of the islamic law. >> reporter: but already, signs that things have not changed that much. just days ago, field commanders told women they had to be covered up. and their spokesman instructed women to stay home, temporarily, because their soldiers are, quote, not trained to respect them. and yet, despite the impending nightmare scenario, some women activists are choosing to risk it all and stay in afghanistan, for now, to continue their work. one of them is a prominent activist and head of the afghan women's network. >> i am planning to stay here. and i am going to for as long as i am needed in afghanistan. for as long as there is something i can do which is
useful. and i will hopefully be capable of going outside. i am not -- not worried or afraid about that. >> reporter: this courageous woman in her 70s is waiting to find out what life will be like after the august-31st deadline, but says the taliban cannot afford to count women out this time. >> afghanistan has 35 million people, and there are 18 million women. and there's a lot of people that they are educated here. we all need to work together. and -- and -- and that's what i'm hoping that it does -- it happens. and it better happen sooner because the more time we spent in this -- in this kind of a quagmire of not knowing what is going to be happening, afghanistan will be in deep danger. >> reporter: and then, there's a generation of afghan women who can't even remember living under the taliban. like 23-year-old pashtana durrani. she is the executive director of learn. a nonprofit working to expand access to girls' education in the country. she's now in hiding.
>> it's very important to live, to fight for their rights to us for their rights because it's time that people fight back. not every person can leave. not every person has the privilege to leave, right? >> reporter: pashtana says she is trying to enroll as many girls as possible on digital-learning programs before things get worse. but she's not giving up. >> and right now, we fight back. we ask for our rights. >> reporter: only time will tell what the future looks like. but the wellbeing of afghan women will be the surest sign of whether the taliban has changed its ways, so the stakes could not be higher. anna coren, cnn. >> thanks to anna for that piece. now, amid all of this chaos, there was a moment of joy and celebration aboard one evacuation flight from afghanistan. take a look at these images. the crew of a turkish airlines flight helped to deliver a baby girl at 30,000 feet on saturday. the newborn and her mum are
doing beautifully. and she is beautiful, indeed, isn't she? the family is headed to the uk. the baby is one of at least four infants born in the middle of th these evacuations. indeed. now, as you know, we are tracking this hurricane. it is barreling towards louisiana. it is charging towards the gulf coast, as you can see from these images. when and where the storm is expected to slam ashore. we are keeping you posted on that. that's next. [music plays.] ♪ ♪ [grunts] ♪ ♪ [grunts] pnc bank believes that if a pair of goggles can help your backhand get better... yeah! ...then your bank should help you budget even better. (laughing) virtual wallet® is so much more than a checking account.
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welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. it is 28 minutes past the hour. i'm robyn curnow, live from atlanta. so, hurricane ida has strengthened to a category 3 storm with winds of 115 miles an hour. it is barreling towards the u.s. gulf coast. it is expected to continue gaining strength. it could make landfall as a category 4 along the louisiana coast in the coming hours. and on the exact same date as hurricane katrina 16 years ago. well, ida has already forced some evacuations and the governors of louisiana, alabama, and mississippi have each declared a state of emergency. the mayor of new orleans also issued this warning. >> what i am told is that this
storm, in no way, will be weakening. there will be and there are no signs, again, that this storm will weaken. and there is always an opportunity for the storm to strengthen. as you know, this continues to remain a very fluid situation. and we know, again, that time is not on our side. >> tyler mauldin is tracking this hurricane for us. and, tyler, hi. clearly, a lot of things to be worried about. but storm surges are -- are a real concern right now, aren't they? >> yeah, absolutely, it is. hurricane ida's barreling towards the coastline. and the storm surge and the flood threat probably the two main impacts from hurricane ida, believe it or not. which is hard to imagine because this is a category 3 hurricane that's going to become a category 4. we've got winds sustained right now at 115 miles per hour. as it takes this journey toward
the coastline of louisiana, there are sea-surface temperatures right here about 90 degrees. that is absolute high-octane fuel for a hurricane to continue to rapidly intensify, and eventually makes landfall as a category 4 hurricane. um, we expect that to happen in the late afternoon to early-evening hours of sunday. in its path are these oil rigs. thousands of oil rigs are here in the gulf of mexico. so, you could see an impact at the pump because of this. um, we -- we see the -- the damage -- um -- ahead of these -- with these oil rigs and these hurricanes go up exponentially. a category 4 hurricane can cause about $8.2 billion of damage to these oil rigs. now, as this thing approaches, what it's going do is it's going to sling all of this rain, which we are going to see the conditions go downhill starting basically right now from south to north. and we're going to see the storm surge really pile up with those onshore winds. some areas could see storm surge up to 10 to 15 feet.
you have been hearing a lot of comparisons between katrina and ida. but really, the only comparison that you can make to them is the fact that today, sunday, is the 16th anniversary of -- of katrina and ida's going to make landfall on the 16th anniversary. the two systems are totally different. and they're going to -- this system is going to bring different hazards. but those hazards, robyn, extreme. as i mentioned, some areas could see a 15-foot storm surge and there is a very wide swath of the southeastern coast of louisiana going to mississippi that could see a storm surge in excess of 9 feet. >> okay. thank you for bringing us all of those details. we'll check in with you a little bit later, as well. thanks, tyler. so i want to turn now to civil and environmental engineering professor -- professor from louisiana state university in baton rouge. hi. lovely to see you. you heard our -- you heard our
reporter there sort of discuss the real issues with -- that we can expect from this hurricane. what is it from an infrastructure point of view that you are concerned about what you are looking at the data coming through? >> so at this point, given the hurricane storm surge is going to be 10 to 15 feet at the coast and also we have tso i am worrid about the bridge. during katrina, that bridge failed and it was a major disaster for the transportation infrastructure. rebuilt that bridge and has maintained we need to see how well it performs now that it has been redesigned and will it stand up to this hurricane? and as we heard just now, the energy infrastructure. at the land port location for this hurricane and that is a key point for -- for the energy -- for the energy industry here in louisiana and also for the energy security for the whole nation. so those are the two things that i am very worried. in addition to the flooding, the wind hazards and storm surge that everyone else is going to face. >> i mean, it -- it -- it's the
anniversary of katrina, which is just sad, in itself. and we, of course, remember the loss then. the levees failed 16 years ago. but tyler was saying the hazards with these two hurricanes are almost incomparable. they are different types of systems. can the people of louisiana be certain the levees aren't going to fail again? how much, for example, has the infrastructure been improved? have lessons been learned and do you think the damage might not be as bad? >> so -- so, 16 years ago for katrina, what happened was the levees failed because of erosion underneath the levee system. so to avoid that, what the army corps has done now is that they have armored the livievees so t does not happen. but it is not expected to fail as it did last time during katrina. so what we might expect is that the levees can be -- depending how much the storm surges. but at the end of the day, we would still have a levee that is
standing. and we will have to rely on the pumps to push the water out from the city and -- and keep everyone's, you know, dry and safe. so we -- >> there has been a lot said that, particularly because these storm surges, 15 feet or more, might as you say top some of the levees. are you confident that backups -- there is resilience, plan b, if that happens? >> so as far as -- um -- i know my knowledge goes the plan b is that we have pumps and -- and the levees have been armored. so, you know, armoring the levees is one. plan b is the pumps. and -- and -- and that 96 of the 99 pumps have been -- have been made operational in new orleans. so that is something which is -- which is giving confidence. but -- but this is a hurricane, right? i mean, in a hurricane, anything and everything can go wrong so we can prepare for the best -- or prepare for the worst and hope for the best. so i think -- but -- but my takeaway is that what we can expect is that the levees can be
[ inaudible ] but the pumps should take care of that. >> thanks so much for your expertise. really appreciate you joining us. >> thank you, robyn. now, we also are monitoring those evacuations from afghanistan. coming up, stranded in kabul. we will hear from one desperate woman who wants to see her husband again.
do want to get you up to speed on one of our top stories. the u.s. is among the countries warning its citizens to stay away from kabul airport in after d be afghanistan. citing a specific and credible threat. and that warning comes after thursday's devastating bombing and it could make it harder to evacuate ahead of tuesday's deadline to withdrawal all u.s. troops. now, a u.s. official says around 2,000 people were evacuated over 12 hours on saturday. the u.s. and its allies have evacuated more than 113,000 people since august 14th. but there are fears thousands and thousands of people could be left behind. well, some families are waiting to be reunited amid the chaos of these evacuations from kabul. joining me now from paris with that story hi, what can you tell us? >> yes, robyn, well, as evacuation efforts come to an end, the question is what
happens to those? what is being done for those that have been left behind? now, you -- the uk had its last military evacuation flight dedicated to civilians. it left yesterday from kabul. france, germany, and italy all wrapped up its evacuation flights on friday. so now, you have those people, robyn, whose hopes have been dashed of ever being airlifted out. and there are people now, robyn, here in europe and around the world who have loved ones who are stranded in kabul. now, i spoke to a french woman yesterday. she's been married to an afghan for the past 20 years. they have been living here in france for 20 years. and despite having a french residency permit and being on the french foreign ministry's list -- passenger list for evacuations, she never made it past the airport gates. in fact, robyn, on the very day that he was under french care, that he was meant to get to the airport. that he was meant to get out. those suicide attacks happened and he was left stranded. now, i spoke to florence and she
told me that she hasn't been able to sleep, that she is worried sick and that she feels the french government has ab abandoned him. take a listen. >> he is scared. he's -- doesn't know by which way he -- he will come back to france. so even when you go back same condition as 20 years ago. you don't know. exactly, who are these people, what will happen to you. it's much more terrible. >> now, robyn, french president
emmanuel macron spoke today and he said that with britain, france would submit a proposal to the u.n. emergency meeting tomorrow. a proposal to have a safe zone in kabul for those people desperate to get out. but what that will look like, no one really knows. robyn. >> thanks for that. appreciate it. so my next guest knows what it's like to have family stranded in afghanistan. he left the country with his parents when he was just a baby after the soviet invasion in 1980. he is also a former-u.s. marine, who was among the first boots on the ground in afghanistan back in the winter of 2001. well, he joins me now from los angeles. no doubt, real concerns for you about family there. tell us -- tell us who they are and what they've been saying to you. >> um, thank you, robyn. my -- i have family. my -- my aunt, my uncle, my cousins. they're scared. they're nervous. they have no idea what's -- what's gonna happen, especially
after what happened a few days ago. >> and, of course, this warning that another terror attack is -- is -- is potentially imminent. >> yes, potentially is. >> how -- how do you feel about being an afghan? about being one of the first soldiers on the ground 20 years ago, and then seeing the way this war has wrapped up in the last few weeks? what are your thoughts as a veteran? >> as a veteran, i'm hurt. my thoughts and prayers goes to the 13 service members' families, as well as the 170 afghans that died. it's the -- it -- it hurts. i'm embarrassed. i told the afghan people -- a lot of us told the afghan people that we're there to protect them and free them from the taliban. and now, we just gave them the taliban right back. so afghanistan's been bleeding for 40 years.
and now, there's so many different individuals that are threatened because of the taliban. >> so, do you feel that america has abandoned the afghan people? >> we -- well, you know, we -- we went in there. we gave -- we gave 'em hope. we gave 'em freedom. we tried to. and -- and then, we did an exit plan that we didn't have. i don't know what happened. you know, there needs to be a humanitarian exit plan helping the -- the women, the children. there goes their freedom. women wanting -- girls wanting to go to school. now, they can't do that. now, they're being forced to marry at 12 years old. you know, it's ridiculous and i feel -- i feel hurt. i feel embarrassed. and -- and the many -- the many interpreters that helped us, their lives are -- their -- their lives are -- they're basically a walking target now. and as well as the hazar
community, tragically, constantly is being abused by the taliban and they need to stop the genocide of that community as well. >> when you went back 20 years ago, as i said in the open, you were one of the first -- first boots on the ground after the 9/11 attacks. what are your memories of those moments as you went back to afghanistan which, you know, even though you're american, you know, that's -- that's where your parents were from. >> i was there -- i was from there, too, as well. >> uh-huh. >> i can't forget about my heritage. that's where i came from. i was -- i was born in afghanistan, raised in the united states. ironically, it was almost the same way as i escaped af afghanistan, we went right back into afghanistan. and it was -- it -- i had goose bumps. i -- i -- i was over -- over -- i had emotions that my -- my emotions were just running wild everywhere. i couldn't -- i couldn't think at that time. but i knew why i was there, and i was there to help the afghan
people be freed by the taliban. >> and the fact that you had to escape after the soviet invasion, and you have seen these images of people, in many ways, repeating what you've experienced as a child, now. how do you feel about the way history seems to be, on some level, repeating itself? at least these images of -- of -- of people just escaping for their lives. >> that's me right there. you know, i feel that that is exactly what -- what i went through as a child with my mom, dad, and brother and many other afghans that left in -- back in '79 and '80. and then, now you see the tears of little kids. the -- the disappearance of children. i just, recently, one of my friends told me that an afghan family came in. they lost their child for 12 hours. finally, found him. they got to the states. literally, they -- with their clothes on their back, that's it. that's all they had.
they lost their suitcase. the father's ankle or foot was broken and that's all they came with. so they didn't have anything. everything was left in afghanistan, lost, disappeared. >> quickly, before we go, are you hopeful that your family will be able to get out? or -- or do you think that they're trapped there now? >> i'm hopeful. i'm -- i hope they get out but i hope they help them get out and as well as people reach out to their afghan friends and families, as well as to the service members and veterans especially what's going on right now. so they can get some help. >> thank you very much for all your service to the country. and also, thank you for sharing your story. best of luck to your family back in afghanistan. live from los angeles, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, robyn. >> you're watching cnn. more news, after the break.
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brothers and friends. five of them were only 20 years old, meaning born around the same time the war in afghanistan began. we report they were a cross-section of the country they died fighting for. >> reporter: they were young. they were passionate. they believed in their mission. >> ladies and gentlemen, as we all know, the freedom we enjoy as americans isn't free. >> reporter: across the u.s. the families and hometown communities of these 13 u.s. service members are grappling with loss after a suicide bomb attack killed them and more than 170 others. outside kabul's international airport on thursday. a moment of silence held for 20-year-old marine lance corporal jared schmitz of saint charles, missouri. >> we are incredibly grateful for his service to our nation. >> reporter: and gathering the friends remember the corporal
from omaha, nebraska. a longtime boy scott, played hockey and enjoyed the outdoors. >> one of the nicest concerns i've ever met. i mean, he -- he was there for you when you needed it, and -- there for you when you didn't want it, but -- he was "the" definition of the best friend eich ever had. >> reporter: the father of 31-year-old taylor hoover of salt lake city said his son was called to action by a defining moment of his generation. >> he was 11 years old at 9/11 and at that time he decided, hey, that's what i want to do. best kid in the world. couldn't ask for any better. loved his family, his sisters absolutely adore him. >> reporter: the sister of 20-year-old riley mccallum on his first deployment and expecting a baby due in three weeks. another marine, 23-year-old sergeant nicole of sacramento, california posted a week ago on
instagram of photo of her holding an infinantinfant, i lo job." she loved about people, loved fiercely. a light in this dark world. one of two female u.s. service members among those killed. the other, a 25-year-old from ma massachusetts yesterday. >> a vibrant young person who wanted to give back to the community and as a result of that, it is her mother's desire that she will be brought back to the city of florence as the hero she is. >> reporter: in addition to the 11 marines killed one army staff sergeant and one navy hauptmann were also killed. the last time he spoke to his mother she told him to be safe. the family said his last words
to her over facetime were, don't worry, mom. my guys got me. they won't let anything happen to me. his mother realized they all just went together. the tribute written by her friend who served with her in the marines talked about the fact some of the younger generation may have only served on peaceful missions. heard war stories from iraq and afghanistan veterans but may have felt removed from the combat experience that is until thursday. that post talked about how the explosion made the realities of america's longest war extremely personal for them. back to you. >> well, thanks for watching. i'm robyn kuerner. hurricane ida is now a category 4 storm that has been upgraded. more cnn continues after the break. kraft. for the win win.
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welcome to "cnn newsroom." i'm kim brunhuber. we begin with breaking news on what's being called a monster hurricane now churning its way towards the u.s. gulf coast. minutes ago the national hurricane center reported that ida is now a category 4 storm. the potentially cat strafk hurricane is forecast to slam the louisiana coast sunday possibly while we know it's a category 4 hitting the state on exactly the same d
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