The United States Embassy in Kabul released an updated security alert Saturday that directly contradicts what President Joe Biden claimed about security at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the location of American and allied evacuations from Afghanistan.
What did Biden claim?
During a press conference on Friday, Biden claimed the U.S. government has received “no indication” that American passport-holders have been unable to reach the airport safely.
“We've made an agreement with the Taliban, thus far, they've allowed them to go through,” Biden said. “So we know of no circumstance where American citizens, carrying an American passport, are trying to get through to the airport.”
NEW: “We know of no circumstance where American citizens, carrying an American passport, are trying to get through… https://t.co/lguekyhU25
— ABC News (@ABC News)1629483214.0
What did the security alert say?
U.S. Embassy Kabul
published an updated security alert Saturday morning advising Americans not to travel to the Kabul airport for evacuation, citing security concerns outside the airport compound.
“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the security alert read.
The alert directs Americans to complete an online form for repatriation, and gives bolded directions about not contacting embassy officials for evacuation details. “Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options,” the security alert says.
The updated security alert confirms what reporters have been saying.
ABC Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell said Biden's claim does not match what is happening on the ground in Kabul. In fact, Pannell explained American citizens are being beaten by Taliban terrorists as they attempt to reach the airport despite the supposed “agreement” that Biden touted.
“It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart,” Pannell said. “I'm not quite sure what advice the president is receiving.”
“The truth on the ground is that these people, who are in fear of their lives, can't get through [to the airport],” he explained.
[email protected]: “The president said he has no intelligence that the Americans have not been able to get [to the Kabul… https://t.co/P4vW1w5SKh
— ABC News (@ABC News)1629484155.0
CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward also described reaching the Kabul airport as “extremely difficult,” “dangerous,” and compared it to navigating a “Rubik's cube.”
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