by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times
August 21, 2021
KABUL – Islamic State re-emerges and threatens US efforts to evacuate American citizens and our Afghans allies. The US Embassy has now issued a travel warning Saturday, advising Americans not to travel to the Kabul Airport unless advised by an official government representative.
The embassy cited “potential security threats” outside the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport in its official notice, as Afghanistan faces a tumultuous and dangerous situation on the ground as a result of the Taliban’s forced takeover. The Islamic State, which has fighters in Afghanistan, has issued threats against Americans attempting to flee the country.
“Because of potential security threats outside the Kabul airport gates, we are advising US citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a US government representative,” the Embassy said in a warning posted on its official website.
The new State Department guidance is a sharp departure from the approach taken earlier this week. Until Saturday, the Embassy in Kabul had advised American citizens and their families to try to get to the airport and board flights out of Afghanistan, despite the State Department’s insistence that it could not guarantee safe passage. The latest guidance also contradicts President Biden’s assertion on Friday that Americans were having no trouble getting to the airport.
The new directive comes after Taliban fighters set up checkpoints outside the perimeter and there have been reports of Taliban insurgents beating American citizens on their way to the airport. There have also been reports of Taliban fighters threating to kill American male citizens and take females as war prizes.