The baby's family asked U.S. troops to give medical care to their child, so the baby was treated at a hospital before reuniting with its father, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said at a Friday press briefing.
"I think this was a very humane act of compassion by the Marines," Kirby said.
The viral photo prompted thousands of questions on social media about the infant, its safety and the family's situation.
A U.S. Marine grabs an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021. The baby was "safe at the airport" in Afghanistan, Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger told NBC News.
How a group of Afghan girls evacuated:Qatar helped members of girls Afghan robotics team flee Afghanistan amid Taliban takeover
In the week since the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital, the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has been flooded by Afghans desperate to flee the Islamic militant group, some clinging to airplanes as they take off.
Photos and videos have also shown U.S. troops helping children evacuate.
US Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit calm infants during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021. Farhad Ansari, a native of Afghanistan now in the U.S., called the evacuation efforts in Kabul a "surreal, heartbreaking scene."
An airman comforts an infant during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
A U.S. Marine assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit calms an infant during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021. "We've all seen the photo of that baby, what we have to understand how desperate a parent must be to hand their child over to a U.S. soldier, a complete stranger," Ansari told USA TODAY. "It's terrifying, seeing my people so utterly scared of what's to come from the Taliban."