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Taliban to Allow 200 Americans, Other Foreigners to Fly Out of Kabul

The Taliban are allegedly allowing for roughly 200 Americans, US permanent residents, and holders of other Western passports to leave the country on a flight to Qatar that is scheduled for Thursday. This marks the first departure by air since US forces withdrew last month, according to American and Qatari officials. On Thursday afternoon, a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 arrived at Kabul airport, guarded by a squad of Qatari special forces. The plane is expected to depart later today from the Hamid Karzai International Airport. The flight will be followed by daily air links to foreign countries after arriving in Qatar.

Qatari officials stated that the flight was not an evacuation flight as all of the passengers hold foreign passports or visas for their destinations. The passengers were also all ticketed by the airline. Qatar facilitated the transport of passengers to the airport via minibusses parked outside of a Kabul hotel on Thursday morning. The buses were able to enter the airport shortly after 2 p.m. local time. Passengers were divided by nationality. One family boarding the flight today consists of a couple from Maryland and their four children who traveled to Kabul six months ago to take care of an ill family member.

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