Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said nearly 800 Americans and Afghan allies left Mazer-e Sharif, Afghanistan, and have safely landed in Qatar.
"I’m elated & relieved to announced that 2 planes chartered by @SayaraInt have safety arrived at Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar from Maser-e Sharif, Afghanistan, with hundreds of brave, resilient Americans & Afghan allies onboard," he tweeted Thursday afternoon.
"I’m immensely grateful to our network of advocates & volunteers who made this possible through countless phone calls, text chains, & sleepless nights. Amid the delays, frustration, & fear, their steadfast devotion was an inspiration.
"I was proud to work alongside them. Our international partners—in particular, leaders in Qatar & Albania—provided significant support to our mission & I thank them for it.
"I also want to thank the State Department staff in Doha for their tireless advocacy on behalf of these passengers. Although the nearly 800 men, women, & children on these 2 planes have now managed to escape to freedom, there remain hundreds just like them throughout Afghanistan. My office is aware of dozens of American-Afghans who have yet to be evacuated."
He said the U.S. has "a moral & humanitarian obligation to protect and evacuate these friends & allies."
And Blumenthal noted that "until the U.S. government honors their promise to evacuate Afghan partners, our work will continue."
In early September, Blumenthal had said he was "furious" about the administration’s delays in getting Americans out of Afghanistan, The Hill had noted.
"I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay and inaction," he said in a statement.
"There will be plenty of time to seek accountability for the inexcusable bureaucratic red tape that stranded so many of our Afghan allies, 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."
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