Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged that the Taliban are preventing evacuation flights out of Afghanistan— an apparent contradiction from his comments a day before where he denied that the extremist group was holding Americans hostage.
“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 Wednesday. “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.”
The White House came under fire for not doing more to pressure the Taliban to allow flights to depart amid reports that six planes were sitting on the tarmac at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport.
“We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage life situation in Mazar-i-Sharif,” Blinken had said Tuesday.