The email did not explain why the flights had been canceled and asked recipients to “be ready to travel at short notice” given how quickly the situation was evolving.
“We will continue our efforts to facilitate the safe and orderly movement of American citizens, LPRs and Afghans to whom we have special commitments and wish to leave Afghanistan. Since there is an ongoing terrorist threat to operations of this nature, we will not be sharing the details of these efforts until people leave the country safely, ”a spokesperson for the Department said. State, adding that they would continue to engage diplomatically with the Taliban to resolve any issues.
Thousands of people, including at least 129 U.S. citizens and 115 U.S. green card holders, have left Afghanistan with U.S. help since the end of the NATO withdrawal, the spokesperson for the U.S. said on Tuesday. State Department, Ned Price. The department formed a team to coordinate government agencies and with outside groups to facilitate the departure of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents of the United States, and Afghans.
But there are still Americans and many Afghans in the country who are struggling to leave, and the email underscores how difficult the situation is.
According to the State Department, about 100 US citizens remain in Afghanistan and wish to leave. Price said a flight left the country on Monday, but provided no details of who was on board or why that flight left and the others are not.
A US citizen, Prince Wafa, told CNN he was still in Afghanistan after more than a month of trying to leave the country. He was hoping to catch a flight this week, but it was canceled.
Wafa, who became a U.S. citizen in 2019, lives in San Diego, where he owns a 7-Eleven, after working as an interpreter with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. He traveled to Afghanistan over the summer trying to find a way to get his wife to the United States. She applied for a visa in 2020 but had not yet received approval.
“I came here to get her out and we both got stuck,” Wafa said.
The 30-year-old American said U.S. officials told him his wife could leave the country with him, but were unable to board any of the departing flights.
Earlier this month, he went to the airport with his wife for a flight, but it was canceled when they arrived. He worried for their safety when he left the airport to return to their rented apartment in Kabul, fearing the Taliban would see him leave and target him.
Some of his recent conversations with US officials have faltered, he said.
“For the past week or so, my contact with the US State Department was absolutely useless. It seemed like they were looking for information on Google,” Wafa said. “After my flight was canceled, I said who should I call for help? Should I call the Taliban for help? The lady told me to call whoever you think could help you.