We’ve been watching for weeks now the Taliban have been holding planes trying to take out Americans from Mazar-i-Sharif hostage.
There were at least six planes of people waiting to evacuate. Reportedly, at least 142 Americans and several hundred Afghans were holed up nearby waiting to leave.
Now there’s word that there’s some movement on the situation — that at least one of the planes reportedly has taken off.
BREAKING: after weeks of stalemate, Congressional and diplomatic sources confirm to CBS News that a flight has taken off from the Mazar-I-sharif airport in Northern Afghanistan bound for Doha.
— Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) September 17, 2021
— Manu Gómez (@GDarkconrad) September 17, 2021
There’s not a lot of information as to what the circumstances were that led to the movement and we’ll keep on top of it and follow up. The problem? If it’s only one flight, there are hundreds of folks still there. There were at least six planes reported connected to Glenn Beck’s group trying to help get people out. No word on the other flights.
The State Department had previously admitted earlier this week the Americans were still being held in Mazar-i-Sharif and that they had tried to “pull every lever” but hadn’t gotten anywhere with moving the Taliban.
This group, who are “kidnap and ransom experts,” reported that it was after a lot of consultation with Qatar. Also interesting information about another flight out of Kabul. Intriguing tweet, if true.
Afghanistan: Also a Kam Air flight from Mazar-i-Sharif which was escorted into Al Udeid. Both these flights occurred after significant negotiations involving Qatar. https://t.co/mvRUmnjb3I
— The Cavell Group (@TCG_CrisisRisks) September 17, 2021
It would be fascinating to find out what may have finally gotten some movement here, albeit not enough to get all the planes to leave, apparently.
This does come after the U.S. reportedly cut an additional $64 million to Afghanistan for humanitarian aid earlier this week, supposedly not to go to the “government” or the Taliban but going to NGOs. Not sure that anyone really believes that the Taliban wouldn’t ultimately get the money anyway, given the situation there.
So we need more answers here — what’s being done to get the other people out? What was done here to get these folks on this flight out? How many more are still there? Did any money or favors change hands in order for this plane to be allowed to leave? The Biden team needs to answer up and stop stonewalling on this issue which involves the safety and hostage situation with Americans.