U.S. Citizens and Afghans Wait for Evacuation Flights From Country’s North

Approximately 1,000 people, including dozens of American citizens and Afghanistan holding visas to the United States or other countries, were stranded in Afghanistan on Sunday’s fifth day, awaiting permission to depart from the Taliban. It has not yet formed a government.

Negotiations to allow the departure of planes involving Taliban, U.S. and Qatar officials have been going on for days, and evacuees are becoming increasingly volatile, according to representatives of organizations trying to keep them safe. Is placed in.

The plight of passengers hoping to leave the airport in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is the plight of thousands who were unable to fly from the capital Kabul after the Taliban rebels occupied the city the night before. Withdrawal of the US military reflects the plight of the evacuees.

The withdrawal of the United States and the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan were overshadowed by the chaotic efforts to airlift tens of thousands of Americans and their allies fleeing Muslim fighters. power.

The Biden administration has faced criticism that it left many people in Kabul after the last troops left on August 30.

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News on Sunday that the Taliban was preventing the six planes carrying American citizens from leaving.

“The state will clear these flights and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport,” McCall said, adding that he believed the problem had “turned into a hostage situation.”

Mr McCaul said the Taliban wanted something in exchange for approving the planned takeoff. He said he believed that what they were looking for was “full approval from the United States.”

However, the State Department and Qatar’s ground organizers refuted Mr. McCall’s explanation of the situation, saying the plane was waiting for final approval from the Taliban with the necessary permits.

“The Taliban have not taken the plane hostage,” said Eric Montalbo, a former Major of the US Marine Corps who is directly involved in the organization of the flight.

According to a document reviewed by the New York Times, the U.S. military has approved three flights to take about 1,000 evacuees, including dozens of U.S. citizens, to Al-Udade Air Force Base in Qatar.

Qatar also granted diplomatic permits for flights to land there, and the manifesto was scrutinized by the U.S. military, the State Department, and Qatar, but requires Taliban approval to depart Mazar-i-Sharif.

“If the Taliban agrees to take off, the landing site is tracking that it is ready to accept the scheduled flight,” the State Department said in an email to parliamentary officials reviewed by the New York Times. rice field. It added that the United States no longer controls the airspace of Afghanistan.

“It is the Taliban’s decision to land the plane at Mazar-i-Sharif,” the email said. “But we provide guidance and support to private sectors operating in Mazar as much as possible and with a focus on safety.”

Report provided by Thomas Gibbons-Nef, Lara Jakes, Luke Broadwater When Julian E. Burns..

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