The organizer of a successful operation to evacuate an American family trapped in Afghanistan says the State Department is now trying to take full credit for the daring rescue mission.
The Texas-based family – consisting of a mom named Mariam and her three children – finally managed to get out of Afghanistan on Monday with the help of Army combat veteran Cory Mills.
The family travelled overland to a neighboring country with Mills’ guidance after they were left behind in Afghanistan when President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of all US troops on August 31.
Mariam and her children – who live northwest of Dallas – had gone to visit her parents in Kabul when the Taliban suddenly overtook the city and they became trapped.
The family tried to get out of Afghanistan on an emergency evacuation flight, but a member of the Taliban purportedly pointed a pistol at Mariam’s head as the family arrived at the airport.
Mills and his private team subsequently stepped in. They helped get Mariam and her family to a safehouse and organized for them to travel on an overland route to reach the border of a neighboring country and get to safety.
The Texas-based family – consisting of a mom named Mariam and her three children – finally managed to get out of Afghanistan on Monday with the help of Army combat veteran Cory Mills. The family are pictured with Mill after reaching safety
On Monday, the State Department publicly stated that they helped to ‘facilitate’ the operation.
A spokesperson told Fox News that the Department ‘provided guidance to the family, worked to facilitate their safe passage, and Embassy officials greeted the Americans once they had crossed the border.’
But Mills furiously disputes that claim, telling the news network: ‘This is an attempt to save face by the administration for the Americans they left behind.’
He further raged: ‘This is a woman with three children from age 15 all the way down to two-years-old. And they did nothing to try to expedite this… But at the very last minute you have these ‘senior officials’ at the State Department trying to claim credit for this like “oh yeah look what we’ve done”‘.
‘It’s like we carried the ball to the 99-and-a-half yard line and them taking it that last half yard and being like “look what we did”.
Mills further alleges that Mariam reached out to the State Department in distress ‘multiple times and got no help’.
The Texas-based family – consisting of a mom named Mariam and her three children – finally managed to get out of Afghanistan on Monday with the help of Army combat veteran Cory Mills. Mills is pictured
Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas revealed Monday that Mariam was one of his own constituents from Texas’s 13th district.
He took to Twitter to celebrate after she successfully evacuated Afghanistan.
Speaking with Fox News he also blasted the State Department.
‘The State Department didn’t do anything for two weeks except put my constituents in danger and leave them stranded,’ he blasted.
‘I know this for a fact because my office has been working around the clock to get our people home with no legitimate support from State. Only after Cory Mills and his team got them into the third country did State offer support by securing tourist visas.
‘Cory and his team are brave patriots. Praise God that American veterans have more resolve than Joe Biden or his State Department.’
Oklahoma conservative Rep. Markwayne Mullin concurred, claiming it was a ‘flat out lie’ that the State Department facilitated the evacuation of Mariam and her family.
Mariam and her family were abandoned in Afghanistan when the US military withdrew from Kabul last week. US officials confirmed they were the first Americans rescued by the government by land since the Taliban took the country
Meanwhile the Biden administration hit a snag in its ‘diplomatic mission’ to rescue other Americans and Afghan allies still stranded after negotiations between the State Department and Taliban officials reportedly broke down over the weekend.
Six private charter planes sent to the city of Mazar-i-Sharif to evacuate at least 1,000 people have been grounded 260 miles north of Kabul.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said he was ‘frustrated, even furious’ at the government’s delay in pulling them out.
‘There will be plenty of time to seek accountability for the inexcusable bureaucratic red tape that stranded so many of our Afghan allies,’ Blumenthal told The Hill. ‘For now, my singular focus remains getting these planes in the air and safely to our airbase in Doha, where they have already been cleared to land.’
Oklahoma conservative Rep. Markwayne Mullin concurred, claiming it was a ‘flat out lie’ that the State Department facilitated the evacuation of Mariam and her family
On Sunday, Reuters reported that the delay had been caused by Biden administration officials not telling Taliban leaders it had approved the departures of the chartered flights from Mazar-i-Sharif.
An exasperated flight organizer hit out at the State Department over the fiasco, saying: ‘They need to be held accountable for putting these people’s lives in danger.’
Other groups trying to organize their own chartered flights have also hit out at the State Department, with Rick Clay from private rescue firm PlanB claiming it’s the only thing stopping him fulfilling his brief.
Two other organizers have also torn into the State Department, with one – who didn’t give their name – telling Fox: ‘This is zero place to be negotiating with American lives. Those are our people standing on the tarmac and all it takes is a f****ing phone call.
‘If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s hands. The blood is on their hands. It is not the Taliban that is holding this up – as much as it sickens me to say that – it is the United States government.’
Further details on the reason for the delay in discussions has not been disclosed. although Blinken jetted to Qatar on Sunday to discuss the issue with leaders there.
This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows satellite imagery of the Mazar-i-Sharif and grounded planes at the airport in northern Afghanistan on September 3
Antony Blinken rushed to Qatar Sunday amid the unfolding crisis in Mazar-i-Sharif