Kabul: The US State Department has warned all its citizens at the gate outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to leave “immediately” because of threats.
A security alert from the US embassy in Kabul said that US citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate or North Gate should now leave immediately.
“Due to security threats outside the gates of Kabul Airport, we are advising US citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time, unless you have personally requested the US government do not receive Not asked to do so by the representative. Do not receive instructions,” the US embassy said.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the Taliban had tightened their reach and control around Kabul airport, which suffocated it during the massive evacuation process.
“We are going to do everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for Americans, our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted because of their association with the United States,” President Joe Biden informed on social media platform Twitter.
We're going to do everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for Americans, our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted because of their association with the United States.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 25, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that efforts are underway to find out whether regional countries can play an active role in ensuring repatriation missions at Kabul airport.
“There are active efforts on the part of regional countries to see if they can play a role in keeping the airport open after our troops leave or reopen it if necessary. The Taliban have made it clear that they are deeply interested in building a functioning airport. The Taliban have made clear that they have a strong interest in having a functioning airport. We and the rest of the international community have a strong interest in that, primarily for the purpose of making sure that anyone who wants to leave can leave past August 31 using the airport… With regard to our own potential presence going forward after the deadline, we are looking at a number of options,” Blinken said.
Kabul airport is the only access point for the international community to connect to Afghanistan, which is a land-locked nation.
“The Taliban have bolstered their own security at their checkpoints and have gotten involved in crowd control…every day is a different day, and yesterday we estimated that crowds were about half the size they had been the previous days. We still haven’t seen them rise to the level they were in the early days of this. But yes, part of the reason is certainly that the Taliban have strengthened their measures of access and control around the field,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.