According to The Hill, McCall says that despite approval from the State Department, the six planes that have been at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport with US citizens and Afghan interpreters in the past few days have not been able to depart. According to the deputy, the Taliban are holding them hostage until their demands are met.
The Taliban want something in return. In fact, when they don’t allow US citizens to fly … it turns into a hostage situation, McCaul said.
According to CBS News, the State Department notified members of Congress by email that charter flights have permission from the department to land in the Qatari capital, Doha, “if the Taliban agree to take off.”
CBS learned from the NGO Ascend, which deals with women in Afghanistan, that it had two planes waiting six days to depart with 600 to 1,200 people on board. They include 19 US citizens and two permanent residents.
Hill noted that the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan last Tuesday, but many American citizens are still there. According to McCall, there are hundreds of them. According to Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State last week, there were “less than 200 and possibly closer to 100”.
A US State Department spokesperson on Sunday asked for comment from The Hill, among other things, said there were no “reliable means to confirm essential details” about the flights. The United States no longer has personnel on the ground and no control of the airspace over Afghanistan and the region. He added that the ministry would “take the word of the Taliban to allow people to leave Afghanistan freely.”
“As with all Taliban commitments, we focus on actions, not words and remind the Taliban that the entire international community is focused on fulfilling their obligations,” the spokesman said.
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