The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan reportedly told U.S. citizens to “shelter in place” and avoid going to the airport or Kabul as the situation in the country is “deteriorating quickly” – before issuing a new alert without the warnings.
The Taliban, in just over one week, has taken over much of Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal process. The U.S. announced Saturday it was sending a few thousand troops back into the country to help with evacuations; but one day later, reports indicated Taliban fighters had entered Kabul.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier Sunday that U.S. personnel were in the process of being evacuated from the embassy and taken to the airport, Yahoo News reported. CBS News then reported that the U.S. ambassador had officially left the embassy and arrived at the airport with the American flag.
Amid reports of Taliban fighters entering the city, the U.S. embassy reportedly sent out an alert noting that “the security situation in Kabul is changing quickly and the situation at the airport is deteriorating rapidly,” according to Wall Street Journal reporter Dion Nissenbaum. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Biden Predicts Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan Is ‘Not Inevitable’)
“There are reports of the airport taking fire and we are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place,” the U.S. Embassy alert read according to Nissenbaum. “The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has suspended consular operations effective immediately. Do not come to the Embassy or airport at this time.”
Adding to confusion, US Embassy sends out revised alert that removes warnings about consular services being suspended and removing warning not to come to embassy or airport… pic.twitter.com/JNWh2aB1ix
— Dion Nissenbaum (@DionNissenbaum) August 15, 2021
Minutes later, the embassy reportedly sent out a revised alert still instructing Americans to “shelter in place,” but the warnings about the suspension of consular services and also the “do not come warning” were removed, Nissenbaum tweeted.
“The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly including at the airport,” the new alert said, according to a screenshot of the email tweeted by Nissenbaum. “There are reports of the airport taking fire; therefore we are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place.”