A group of volunteer veterans of the Afghan war stepped up to save hundreds of Afghan elite forces in danger from the Taliban on Wednesday night.
ABC News reported that the mission, called “Pineapple Express,” was put together to save the at-risk operates and their families as the Taliban’s reign of terror rises once again the war-torn nation.
The group was on their mission of mercy when the Thursday attacks occurred in Kabul which killed at least 13 U.S. service members and wounded 15 more.
The group was working unofficially in cooperation with the United States military and embassy to help move people, sometimes one at a time, inside the wire of the Hamid Karzai International Airport controlled by the United States.
Several of the Pineapple Express travelers were wounded in the blast that took place on Thursday, however, the mission went forward.
According to ABC’s report, as many as 500 Afghan special operators, assets and enablers and their families into the airport in Kabul and handed over to the U.S. military.
Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the private rescue effort, told ABC News that, “Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom.”
That number drastically increased the estimated 130 at-risk Afghans that were brought into the airport in the last 10 days since it has been encircled by Taliban fighters after it fell on Aug. 16.
Those 130 were smuggled in by a group known as Task Force Pineapple which includes former U.S. special operators, aid workers, intelligence officers and others with experience in Afghanistan bent on saving their friends and allies caught in the deadly crosshairs of the Taliban.