American Citizens Stuck in Taliban ‘Hostage Situation’ at Kabul Airport

The Taliban is declining to allow planes carrying American citizens and green card holders to leave Afghanistan, seeking reward or payment from the American government in what observers are calling a hostage situation.

Congressional sources indicated that the Taliban government is preventing six planes from taking off from the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, on which US citizens and alleged Afghan interpreters are seeking to board.

US officials are reportedly negotiating with Taliban leaders in Qatar to get the planes in the air, but nothing that the American government has offered has been enough to allow further airlifts from Afghanistan. Sources on the ground indicate that the planes have sat on the tarmac of the airport in northern Afghanistan for as long as several days.

While the overwhelming majority of evacuees seeking to board the planes are asylum seekers, nineteen of those waiting to leave are American citizens are two are legal permanent residents of the United States. A women’s sports organization played a role in organizing the flights out of the country.

The Taliban has openly requested legal recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan from the United States, seeking diplomatic legitimacy in a fashion unlike other Islamist governments. It’s unclear exactly what the Islamist organization is seeking to obtain from the hostage situation, although there isn’t reason to believe that the hundreds of evacuees delayed by the development are in serious danger at this time.

The situation continues to develop, and Big League Politics is monitoring for further updates.

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