Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called for the resignation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the hostage crisis in Afghanistan, where perhaps over 100 Americans are being held against their will as they attempt to leave the country.
“As the Biden administration continues to peddle lies and claim victory for their failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted Americans are being held hostage by the Taliban. Organizing the safe evacuation of Americans was Blinken’s direct responsibility and he failed. Biden must fire Blinken,” McDaniel said in a statement.
For nearly a week, Americans onboard six jets that are at the airport in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city. The Taliban will not allow them to exit, the State Department says. There are believed to be a mix of Americans and Afghan allies among the 1,000 passengers who are being held at the airport by the Taliban.
Blinken yesterday said “We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage-like situation in Mazar-i-Sharif.”
Today, he said, “The Taliban are not permitting the charter flights to depart.”
Blinken said the Taliban hasn’t prevented the departure of those with a valid document. But there are people on the planes that may not have their documents, and they can’t leave, so the entire plane cannot leave.
“Because all of these people are grouped together, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go,” Blinken told reporters.
Among those planes is one chartered by Juneau-based Goldbelt Inc., an Alaska Native corporation with numerous military contracts. One of those contracts is to extract American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.
A person familiar with the evacuation operation told Politico that the Taliban are stopping flights from taking off because they want to see paperwork and manifests for all the passengers, but the reason the militants are demanding such things is because the State Department has told the Taliban it doesn’t know who is on the planes.