Terrorists in the Taliban continue to prevent Americans from leaving airports in northern Afghanistan, U.S. top executives said Wednesday.
Many people, including Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), have described the hostage situation at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport this week. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the Taliban were blocking Americans from leaving the country, but promoted the group’s allegations that blocked US citizens lacked proper documentation.
“It is my understanding that the Taliban have not denied leaving to those who have valid documents,” he said after meeting with Qatari officials.
The next day, Blinken changed his tone when talking about the situation.
“Currently, the Taliban does not allow charter flights to depart,” Blinken said after meeting with a German correspondent at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
“They claim that some passengers do not have the necessary documents. Even if there are no personnel on the ground, there are limits to what can be done without an airport with normal security procedures in place. We are doing our best to support those flights and take them off the ground, “he added.
However, Blinken, who said the United States was incapable of scrutinizing passengers on planes departing or leaving Afghanistan, later said, “Unfortunately, some of the groups claim to have locked down all documents and arrangements. Is not. ” NS. “
US troops withdrew from Afghanistan on August 30. Since then, Americans stuck in the country have not received direct support from the US government.
Private groups have chartered six flights to help Americans and others escape from the Mazar-i-Sharif, but those planes have not yet taken off.
The State Department is working 24 hours a day with non-governmental organizations, supporters and lawmakers to “help coordinate their efforts and provide guidance wherever possible,” Blinken said. ..
Blinken described the United States as supporting ongoing efforts to drive Americans out of the Taliban-controlled nation, but some say the State Department is actually blocking them.
Three Americans engaged in rescue missions said Fox news The agency was interfering with the mission.Later Fox Quote email Obtained from Eric Montalvo, who organized part of the charter flight, the State Department did not approve the landing of the plane in a third country, indicating that the United States would not land the plane at a US military base.
The State Department did not respond to the request for comment, but Blinken seemed to respond to the report.
“The bottom line is this: those flights need to be able to depart. And we work every day to make sure they can do it. We allow the charter to leave. We will continue to put pressure on the Taliban for this, and it is also important to open HKIA, the Kabul International Airport, to regular commercial aircraft, which will enable safe and orderly departures for people from Afghanistan. “He said.