Afghanistan’s flight descends into chaos amid ISIS threats, Taliban death squads

The flight from Afghanistan continued to fall in a humiliating debacle for the United States on Saturday, which threats of ISIS attacks and the Taliban’s death squads – and conflicting guidance from the White House – added to the dangerous chaos thousands of Americans and allies face who are trying to flee the country.

That The US Embassy said this on Saturday that US citizens in Afghanistan should stay away from Kabul airport, the only way out.

The advice directly contradicted President Biden’s insistence on Friday that the Americans were free to come to Hamid Karzai International Airport from the Afghan capital and that an “agreement” had been reached with the Taliban on the issue.

“Due to potential security threats outside the gates of Kabul Airport, we advise American citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid the airport gates at this time,” the embassy said in a security warning on Saturday.

It has the Islamic fundamentalists taken control of the capital – and the United States says it does not have the logistical capacity to enter the city and rescue individual Americans.

People aboard a plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to evacuate Afghanistan on August 19, 2021.
US AIR FORCE via UPI
US Embassy staff from Afghanistan aboard a plane to Kuwait after being evacuated to Qatar on August 17, 2021.
US Embassy staff from Afghanistan aboard a plane to Kuwait after being evacuated to Qatar on August 17, 2021.
US Air Force via EPA

While the airport remains under US control, the trip to it has become incredibly dangerous, with militants setting up random checkpoints along the road and turning away or attacking those seeking to pass, according to reports.

News emerged Saturday that ISIS and other terrorist groups may be to blame, forcing the U.S. military to find new ways to get evacuees to the airport, the Associated Press reported.

An Afghan interpreter – in his fifth attempt to reach the airport – told CBS News that the Taliban told people outside the airport that ISIS was planning an attack.

The embassy’s new guidance underscores the growing crisis and confusion on the ground as the United States struggles to evacuate its citizens and Afghan allies from the clutches of the Taliban.

Afghan people packed on a plane leaving the country at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 19, 2021.
Afghans packed on a plane leaving the country at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 19, 2021.
US AIR FORCE via UPI
Armed Taliban fighters drove through Kabul on August 19, 2021.
Armed Taliban fighters drove through Kabul on August 19, 2021.
Rahmat Gul / AP
A Taliban fighter prevents people from entering the road leading to Kabul airport on August 19, 2021.
A Taliban fighter prevents people from entering the road leading to Kabul airport on August 19, 2021.
Marcus Yam / LA Times / Shutterstock

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer blew up Bidensaid the president has put the Americans “just a stray bullet away from a massacre in Kabul.”

“I do not know that I have ever seen a politician, especially in a dangerous moment like this, be so denied, out of touch, out of lunch and completely unaware,” said Fleischer, who served in the George W. Bush administration. , Rita Cosby told WABC Radio on Friday.

In the last 24 hours, six U.S. military C-17s and 32 charter flights have left the airport with a total of 3,800 passengers, military officials said Saturday. In Germany on Saturday, American soldiers were seen preparing the barracks for refugees.

Still, the situation in the country worsened over the weekend as the Taliban moved to consolidate their gains and dampen the population.

The Taliban’s death squad was on Saturday hunting for Afghans and others they believe collaborated with the United States or the newly deposed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, according to a group helping Afghan interpreters caught in the chaos.

Air Force pilots set up cribs at a bar at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to accommodate evacuees from Afghanistan.
Air Force pilots set up cribs at a bar at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to accommodate evacuees from Afghanistan.
US Air Force / 86. Airlift Wing / Airman Edgar Grimaldo

Australian nonprofit Forsaken Fighters said “tens of thousands” could potentially be at risk.

“Interpreters on the ground in Kandahar have reported that the Taliban have actively sought out interpreters who supported coalition forces, even using local children to help point people out and go door to door to find them,” the organization told The Sun .

“People are being dragged from their houses and executed. It’s a really awful situation. The enormous desperation of the people who helped us is overwhelming. ”

A family member of a journalist from the German television station Deutsche Welle was shot dead by the Taliban, confirmed the television station and added that other employees in the country have been raided in their homes, Reuters reported.

The Taliban have set up “priority lists” of alleged collaborators to hunt down the effort and have made “targeted door-to-door visits”, according to a leaked UN document seen by Agence France-Presse.

Khalil al-Rahman, the leader of a Taliban-affiliated network and a U.S.-designated terrorist, was given protection while visiting a mosque in Kabul on August 20, 2021.
Khalil al-Rahman, the leader of a Taliban-affiliated network and a U.S.-designated terrorist, was given protection while visiting a mosque in Kabul on August 20, 2021.
Marcus Yam / LA Times / Shutterstock
Taliban fighters patrol Kabul on August 19, 2021.
Taliban fighters patrol Kabul on August 19, 2021.
Rahmat Gul / AP
An Afghan mother embraces a US soldier after reuniting her family at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 20, 2021.
An Afghan mother embraces a US soldier after reuniting her family at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 20, 2021.
US MARINE CORPS via UPI

John Kirby, spokesman for the Department of Defense, was asked about terrorist threats during a press conference on Saturday, but declined to elaborate.

“We are not going to go into specific details about the threat environment,” he said.
During the same briefing, Kirby defended his earlier remarks just days before Kabul fell to the Taliban, saying the city “is not currently in any threatening environment.”

“The moment I said it, based on what we knew at the time, it was a true statement. And yes, two days later things changed dramatically. I readily admit it. Things were moving very fast, “Kirby told Fox News on Saturday.

Additional reporting by Mary Kay Linge and Eileen AJ Connelly

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