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Ammon couple trying to get colleague out of Afghanistan

AMMON, Idaho (KIFI) - An Ammon couple is headed to Washington DC to help a friend and former colleague get out of Afghanistan.

Steve and Jill Smoot were already headed to Washington to help their son move when they heard about what was happening in Kabul.

They immediately thought of their friend and former colleague.

"If the Taliban knew he was still alive, they would increase their search for him," Steve Smoot explains. "Back in 2010, 11, I had an office in Kabul Afghanistan. Eagle Feather Energy is the name of our company. The benefactor on the Afghan side was a man."

For his and his family's safety, the Smoots have asked for him to be referred to as "The General."

"He was the last guy to be defending from the south against the Taliban surge and ended up in Kabul," Smoot said. "And when the collapse came just some days ago, he's now in hiding cause he's a very high-level target of the Taliban, for obvious reasons. His brother in law, is currently in Turkey, he managed to get out of the country a few weeks ago, and the only mode of communication is through physical currier."

But there is a problem, Smoot says. The US Embassy in Kabul destroyed all the documentation of those Afghani citizens and officials who have helped the US over the years.

"Those people if they get to the airport, and this was given to me this morning [Thursday] by a whistleblower fairly high up in the Department of Defense," Smoot said. "If those people show up at the airport, the Afghan nationals with all the documentation to leave, they are turned away. That planes in and out of Kabul, when they leave Kabul, they're not full. In fact, the average is around 20 percent capacity. So they're turning away all the people that were helping us."

The Smoots have a plan for when they get to DC. Their attempts to call The General's US contacts haven't gone through; "So in DC I'm gonna try to find those agencies at whatever level and just say, 'Hey we need some help, we understand there's something going on at the airport, where they're not letting people on with the proper documentation,'" Smoot said.

The Smoots have also petitioned Senator Mike Crapo's office, who told them they will send the info over to the State Department.

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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