Taliban Allow 200 Americans and Foreigners Stranded in Afghanistan to Leave, U.S. Official Says
Taliban authorities have agreed to let 200 American civilians and third-country nationals, who were stuck in Afghanistan, to leave via charter flights from the Kabul airport, a U.S. official said.
According to Reuters, the unnamed U.S. official said the Taliban were pressed to allow the departures by U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday.
However, the official could not say if these Americans and third-country nationals were among people stranded for days in Mazar-i-Sharif because their privately chartered planes had not been allowed to leave.
Reports said some planes chartered to carry people out of the torn-war country had been stuck at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, with some organizers accusing the U.S. State Department of not doing enough to facilitate their departure.
Leaked Email Reveals State Department Blocking Rescue Flights
A leaked email revealed that the State Department has refused to greenlight some privately chartered planes out of Afghanistan. The said flights could have evacuated American citizens and Afghans who wanted to be out of the country.
Based on a Daily Mail report, military lawyer and retired Marine Eric Montalvo opened up about the details of the email to Fox News after he organized some of the flights himself. He claimed that the federal government had thwarted his rescue effort.
The leaked email showed that officials from the State Department refused to allow Montalvo's privately paid flights to use U.S. properties either inside American soil or in any of its overseas bases.
The officials cited possible security threats from landing charter planes at military bases. They said they lack the resources on the ground to thoroughly verify flight manifests.
The September 1 email read that no independent charters are allowed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Defense Department base, and "most if not all countries in the Middle Eastern region," except for "perhaps Saudi Arabia."
An official suggested Montalvo to look to a different destination country for help. The official added that it "can't be the U.S. either."
Last Jew leaves Afghanistan After Taliban Takeover
The last member of the Jewish community in Afghanistan left the country. Despite being born in the country and considered it his home, Zebulon Simentov has left Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover last month.
The 62-year-old Jew lived in a dilapidated synagogue in Kabul, kept kosher, and prayed in Hebrew while enduring decades of war. Afghanistan's centuries-old Jewish community has dwindled over the past years.
An Israeli-American businessman who runs a private security group that organized the evacuation, Moti Kahana, shared that Simentov has lived under the Taliban rule and was not worried about them.
However, Kahana warned him that he was at risk of being killed by the far more radical ISIS group. The ISIS group was responsible for last month's terrorist attack at Kabul's airport that resulted in the death of 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghans.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Jess Smith
WATCH: Planes Carrying Americans Prevented From Leaving Afghanistan - From NBC News
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