Earlier Sunday PJM reported that Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) sounded the alarm about six civilian aircraft that have been waiting to depart the airport at Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. According to McCaul, those aircraft have an unknown number of Americans along with Afghan interpreters who helped the U.S. military during the 20-year war.
Rep. McCaul said the Taliban is making demands while blocking the aircrafts’ departure, effectively creating a hostage situation.
When pressed by Wallace on what demands the Taliban are making, McCaul said the circumstances are “turning into a hostage situation.”
“Well, they are not clearing airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple days, these planes, and they’re not allowed to leave,” McCaul said.
“We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really, Chris, turning into a hostage situation where they’re not gonna allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America,” he added.
That situation continues.
Now a satellite image purportedly of the aircraft has emerged on Twitter.
Newly released satellite images show six commercial airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan that are not being allowed to depart by the Taliban. American citizens and Afghan interpreters are reportedly waiting to board the flights. 📸: @Maxar pic.twitter.com/Ov7kB3z5VP
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) September 5, 2021
The Washington Examiner reached out to the State Department about the ongoing standoff. The State Department has promised to get all Americans who want to leave Afghanistan out of the country. The State Department issued a statement saying essentially that its hands are tied because it has no ground or air assets available.
This A.M. @RepMcCaul told @FoxNews “We have six airplanes…with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now." And here's the State Department's response to @DCExaminer:https://t.co/CaSkPOOsVJ pic.twitter.com/EYlVgYfRNA
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) September 5, 2021
“We understand the concern many people are feeling as they try to facilitate further charter and passage out of Afghanistan. However, we do not have personnel on the ground, we do not have air assets in the country, we do not control the airspace — whether over Afghanistan or elsewhere in the region,” the State Department statement says.
The United States did have all of those assets available until Joe Biden ordered a full and hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, which included abandoning Bagram Air Base in early July.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan’s northern Panjshir province, anti-Taliban fighters continue their fight. But with no support from outside of Afghanistan, while the Taliban are now armed with U.S. weaponry left behind in the withdrawal, and with reported Pakistani support, the Taliban are closing in on the last force resisting them. Afghanistan’s last remaining elected leader present in the country, former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, is reportedly calling on the United Nations to intervene to prevent “genocide.”
Saleh says hundreds of thousands of displaced Afghans are under direct threat from the Taliban and “if no attention is paid to the situation, a full-scale human rights and humanitarian catastrophe including starvation and mass killing, even genocide of these people are in the making.”
Mass killings followed the U.S. exit from Vietnam in the 1970s, including the heinous genocide the woke communist Khmer Rouge perpetrated in Cambodia, in which they killed about 25% of their own countrymen.