The Taliban is blocking flights from leaving Afghanistan with American passengers and at-risk Afghans who want to leave the war-torn country, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.
The Biden administration has come under fire for its handling of the evacuation and withdrawal from Afghanistan, which the US President abruptly ordered.
With thousands of US citizens and Afghans who aided US intelligence and service members being evacuated by American forces, many more were stranded.
But with hundreds left in Afghanistan, the top US diplomat said the Taliban was not allowing flights to depart.
“There’s been a fair amount of confusion surrounding the flights, and let me just clarify a few things. As of now, the Taliban are not permitting the charter flights to depart. They claim that some of the passengers do not have the required documentation,” Blinken said during a joint press conference with his German counterpart. “While there are limits to what we can do without personnel on the ground, without an airport with normal security procedures in place, we are working to do everything in our power to support those flights and to get them off the ground,” Blinken added.
Blinken said the US had made clear to the Taliban that the charter flights “need to be able to depart, and we continue every day, virtually every hour, to work on that.”