Former military interpreters, parents of U.S. citizens among those hoping to board flights arranged by U.S. veterans

As U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visits Afghan refugees at a U.S. air base in Germany, American veterans are beseeching the Biden Administration for help evacuating hundreds of left-behind Afghans and U.S. citizens who fear for their lives after the U.S. withdrawal.

“Unfortunately we are left behind now,” one former U.S. military translator who asked not to be named told the Associated Press from the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.  “No one heard our voice.”

Hundreds of vulnerable Afghans are waiting for permission from Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to board prearranged charter flights standing by at the airport in Mazar-e-Sharif.

“I hope we can help them out, and get them out of this mess,” said retired Army Col. Thomas McGrath, one of the veterans trying to help his former interpreter.

The Americans and green-card holders in the group are mostly elderly parents of Afghan-American citizens in the United States.

Blinken said Tuesday the U.S. was working with the Taliban to resolve the standoff over the charter flights. He said the Taliban had told U.S. officials that the problem in Mazar-e-Sharif was that passengers with valid travel documents were mixed in with those without the right travel papers.


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