DENVER (CBS4)– From his home in Colorado, Baryalai Rahimi could almost feel the reverberations from the bombings in Kabul. His family lives in a village just north of the city and, he says, they are in danger because of him and his work for the U.S. military.
“This is the second time the Taliban have come to my house, searching. I’m lucky to come here but I’m worried about my family there.”READ MORE: New Video Emerges Of Aurora Police Stop, Triggering Internal Investigation: 'I Was Petrified Of That Gun'
Rahimi is among thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. government and are now on the Taliban’s hit list. He got out three years ago but many others are trapped, including his nephew who, he says, also worked for the U-S and is in hiding. The bombings have only worsened his chances of escape.
Republican Congressman Ken Buck says the President needs to send more troops, “We have to make sure that we are able to expand our perimeter around the airport. We have to make sure that there are safe zones that allow people who want to get to the airport to get to the airport.”
Buck and Democratic Congressman Jason Crow say the President should abandon his Aug. 31 deadline to pull out troops.READ MORE: Rep. Lauren Boebert Used Campaign Funds For Rent And Utilities, New Filing Shows
“The mission is this – to get U.S. citizens out who want to leave and get our Afghan partners out who want to leave. I don’t see a path to accomplishing this and the end of month.”
Rahimi worries many will be left behind. He mourns what he calls the death of his country, “All our people are worried about the future, what happened to my future?”
Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation say they’ve received dozens, in some cases hundreds, of calls from people who are trying to get family or friends out. Congressman Joe Neguse alone has 246 open cases.
Buck says that while the State Department estimates about 1,000 Americans are still in Afghanistan, he believes there are far more and that it could take weeks or even months to get them out.MORE NEWS: Face Masks, Vaccination Rate Dictate COVID Outbreaks In Schools Across Colorado
Both Buck and Crow sit on the House Intelligence Committee but they do not yet know if any of the service members killed in the bombings are from Colorado.