While talks with the US administration are ongoing, an official stated on Sunday that the Taliban is holding "hostage" American nationals and Afghan interpreters attempting to exit Afghanistan.

According to a recent report in The Hill, six aircraft carrying American citizens and Afghan allies are stalled at an airstrip in Afghanistan. The Taliban are "keeping them hostage for demands," as Rep. Michael McCaul claimed on Sunday.

The jets were at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport in northern Afghanistan for the previous few days, McCaul told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." The jets have been unable to depart despite State Department approval.

Following McCaul's interview, a succession of stories claimed that the Taliban were detaining multiple flights on the ground at the Afghanistan airport. According to a report published in USA Today, the State Department told members of Congress via email that the charter plane has authorization to land in Doha "if and when the Taliban agrees to takeoff."

When Wallace pressed McCaul on the Taliban's demands, McCaul stated the situation was "becoming into a hostage situation." He stated that no aircraft have been given permission to depart. The Taliban have been camped out at the airport for several days, preventing these planes from departing.

He added that they know why it's occurring, and the Taliban are looking for something in return. The Hill said that the situation is turning into a hostage situation. No American citizens are permitted to leave until they receive full recognition from the United States of America.

The State Department also reminded members of Congress that the US has no personnel on the ground in Mazar-i-Sharif and does not control the airspace. Since its complete withdrawal on Tuesday, the United States no longer has any controls.

At least four planes chartered to evacuate hundreds of people fleeing the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan have been unable to leave the country for days, according to officials, with conflicting accounts emerging about why the flights were unable to take off as pressure mounts on the US to help those left behind flee.

AZ Central, citing a nonprofit organisation that works with Afghan women named Ascend, two aircraft have been queuing for six days to depart. There were between 600 and 1,200 passengers aboard, including 19 American citizens and two permanent residents.

An Afghan official at Mazar-i-Airport said Sharif's would-be passengers were Afghans. Many of whom lacked passports or visas and thus could not exit the country. They had left the airport, he added, while the problem was being sorted.

According to an Afghan official who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the situation's sensitivity, four aircraft were involved. While officials worked out whether or not they would be allowed to leave the country, their intended passengers slept in motels. The problem, he explained, was that many people lacked the necessary travel documents.

[Representational image] Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit stand guard at a check point as airport workers queue to enter to the Kabul International Airport in Kabul on September 4, 2021. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images

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