Top GOP lawmaker says Taliban won’t let Americans leave from Afghanistan airport

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on Sunday that six airplanes carrying American citizens and Afghan allies are sitting at an airport in Afghanistan trying to depart but that the Taliban are “holding them hostage for demands.”

McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the airplanes have been at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport in northern Afghanistan “for the last couple of days” but have been unable to leave despite approval from the State Department.

“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,” McCaul told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“State has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport,” he added. …

“We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. 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,” he added.