There is little the U.S. can do to stop the Taliban from reportedly grounding planes trying to leave Afghanistan, President Joe Biden’s administration announced Monday.
“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,” a State Department spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon. “We understand the concern that many people are feeling as they try to facilitate further charter and other passage out of Afghanistan.” (RELATED: ‘I’m An American, Please Open The Gate’: American Woman Trapped In Afghanistan Says She Is Scared For Her Safety)
New: CBS has learned multiple flights are being held on the ground at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in Northern Afghanistan… by the Taliban. 1/
— Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) September 5, 2021
Biden’s evacuation of Afghanistan ended with more than 100 Americans stranded along with tens of thousands of Afghan allies and refugees. As a result, the U.S. no longer has the resources on the ground to ensure safe passage out of the country.
Republican Texas Rep. Michael McCaul condemned the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal and its inability to help those still in the country. The six planes in question are attempting to take off from Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport. (RELATED: Pentagon Spox Passes The Buck On Afghanistan, Says Americans ‘Get Stranded’ Overseas ‘All The Time’)
“What we are seeing right now in Mazar-i-Sharif — this didn’t have to happen,” McCaul said in a statement to the Beacon. “If the president had listened to the bipartisan pleas from Congress, his own generals, or the intelligence community, he would have properly planned for this withdrawal, including evacuating Americans before he pulled out the military. Instead, Americans are trapped in a country run by brutal terrorists, who are currently not allowing them to leave.”
McCaul also told Fox News on Sunday morning that there are still hundreds of Americans stuck in Afghanistan and the Taliban isn’t willing to authorize their release without something in return. McCaul serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has access to some classified briefings on the events in Afghanistan.