Unsurprisingly, the Taliban is reportedly holding Americans hostage and making demands.
This report first surfaced from CBS and was backed by Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas.
McCaul, who is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed a CBS News reporting that the Taliban is holding Americans hostage.
McCaul said, “In fact we have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport, 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.”
“State has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport,” he added.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace pressed further, asking what demands the Taliban is making. McCaul clarified they want money and diplomatic legitimacy.
The Biden administration abandoned 100 to 200 Americans in Afghanistan. Biden’s incompetence also led to the deaths of 13 U.S. troops by a suicide bomber at the Kabul airport.
McCaul continued, “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.”
To make matters worse, McCaul says the Biden administration might grant the Taliban legitimacy and recognize them as the official government of Afghanistan.
Now we are learning that a satellite image has emerged allegedly supporting the claim Rep. Michael McCaul made on Sunday that the Taliban is holding American citizens and Afghan interpreters hostage at the airport.
Politico reporter Daniel Lippman said, “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,” he added.
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
More from Townhall on the situation:
According to McCaul, the planes have been sitting at the airport for days even though the State Department has cleared the flights.
“We had six airplanes at the airport, 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,” McCaul, the ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News.
According to CBS, statements from local NGOs also support that claim.
The group Ascend, an NGO that teaches young women leadership through athletics, told CBS News they have two planes that have been waiting for six days ready to take between 600 and 1200 people — including 19 American citizens and two permanent residents.
CBS News has not been able to corroborate those numbers, but three other sources confirmed there are Americans in the area waiting to evacuate through charter flights.
The planes are not currently loaded. The passengers are being held nearby, because the Taliban won’t let them into the airport, according to a senior congressional source. (CBS)
“We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange,” McCaul said, explaining that they’re seeking “full recognition” from the U.S.