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A suburban Chicago family is trying to get their young family members home from Afghanistan but face confusion over logistics.
Only giving us his first name, Masud has been watching the unnerving situation in Kabul from his Lincolnwood home, wondering if his family will ever catch a flight out.
“There is no security in place for everyone’s safety, let alone Americans’ safety,” said Masud.
His wife’s youngest siblings, ranging in age from 8 months to 10 years old, traveled to Kabul a month ago to visit other family members.
Masud says they were supposed to catch a flight back home to the United States this week, but the flight was canceled.
Now, the children are in hiding with family members awaiting word from the U.S. government on what to do next.
“How will they be able to get on a U.S. military flight?” said Masud. “Even if they’re told to go to the airport, how do [they] get to the front gate?”
Masud said it’s too dangerous for the children to travel to Kabul Airport, even as thousands of American troops restored order to the airport on Tuesday.
“No one is able to predict the next minute,” said Masud. “Random criminals can kidnap them.”
On Tuesday, the Pentagon said it was in talks with the Taliban, who’ve fully taken over Afghanistan in a matter of days.
Jake Sullivan, U.S. National Security Adviser, said the Taliban have informed the U.S. that they are prepared to provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport.
“We intend to hold them to that commitment,” said Sullivan.
RefugeeOne of Chicago is already assisting two Afghan families that will be relocating to the Chicago area in the coming weeks, according to Jims Porter, a spokesperson for the state’s largest resettlement organization.
“Last week, we were told there were about 18,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders from Afghanistan that were going to be relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia,” said Porter.
Of those thousands of refugees, Porter says RefugeeOne Chicago can welcome up to 500 refugees per year. He says they are “nowhere near” that number this year.
Meanwhile, it’s estimated that about 11,000 Americans could be waiting to evacuate Afghanistan. As of Tuesday, evacuations…