On Aug. 27, the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan issued a second alert to Americans, warning them not to approach the Kabul airport and avoid the gates that lead to it, citing “security threats.” A similar warning was issued by the embassy two days previously on Aug. 25. The new warning comes as the Kabul airport has been targeted by ISIS terrorists.
Unlike the earlier advisory, the new one lists the New Ministry of Interior gate as an additional area that is prone to danger. It continued advising U.S. citizens to stay away from North gate, Abbey gate, and the East gate. People in these areas have been asked to “leave immediately.” The new security alert also advised them to follow the U.S. Department of State on social media, monitor local media for latest developments, prepare a contingency plan for emergencies, etc.
Earlier, State Department spokesperson Ned Price refused to provide an estimate of the number of people who would be left back in Afghanistan after the Aug. 31 withdrawal date.
“It’s a difficult question because look, we have evacuated more than 110,000 people so far. But we have always sought to be clear about this, and sought not to sugarcoat what will be a time of great uncertainty, a time of great fear, a time of concern for many Afghans,” Price said.
He added that the department will maintain a “firm commitment” to assist Americans and Afghan aides after the withdrawal date. However, Price said that their situation would largely depend on the Taliban’s willingness to provide safe passage to the airport.
President Joe Biden has also warned of the possibility of another attack at the Kabul airport. In an Aug. 28 statement Biden said that despite the “treacherous situation” in Kabul, the U.S. continues to evacuate people from the country.
“I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources, and plans to protect our men and women on the ground… They assured me that they did, and that they could take these measures while completing the mission and safely retrograding our personnel,” Biden said.
According to the Association of Wartime Allies, a refugee resettlement group, roughly 250,000 Afghans who helped U.S. in its war effort in the country were looking to evacuate. However, only 62,000 have been pulled out since July.