US President Joe Biden said on 31 August, when announcing the end of the nearly-20-year American military presence in Afghanistan, that the United States was committed to get out “any American, Afghan partner, or foreign national who wants to leave” the country.
The US State Department is being accused of blocking private flights evacuating American citizens and allies from Afghanistan, with individuals involved in the mission raging that it is not the Taliban* to blame for the delay but the US government.
Rick Clay, an American who runs the private rescue organisation PlanB, complained to Fox News that as of last week, there were some 4,500 American citizens, SIVs and green card holders, as well as refugees, trying to get out of Afghanistan.
Military command at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, where the refugee centers are, said that the State Department must first give approval to anyone seeking clearance to land in Qatar.
The PlanB group founder said last week that they had given the State Department a list of 800 individuals eligible for a first round of evacuation flights but had problems “getting permission” from the US government.
He said that the State Department “is not allowing any private charters carrying refugees [to] land anywhere” in countries neighbouring Afghanistan, while coming up with different “excuses” why there had been delays: including claims like there were radar issues or a lack of air traffic controllers.
His account was confirmed by…