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DEVELOPING STORY: The U.S. Embassy in Kabul posted a security alert warning American citizens to shelter in place.
“The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly including at the airport,” the alert read. “There are reports of the airport taking fire; therefore we are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place.”
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter that NATO is helping keep the Kabul airport open to facilitate and coordinate evacuations.
The Taliban managed to arrive in Kabul far earlier than expecting catching the Biden Administration off guard – and somewhat unprepared.
JUST IN: @SecBlinken tells @jonkarl that personnel at U.S. embassy compound in Kabul are being relocated to the airport "to ensure they can operate safely and securely" amid Taliban advance. https://t.co/l51U8jicQB pic.twitter.com/iUzFXBbVxu— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 15, 2021
CNN reports the American flag has been taken down at the embassy, “marking a final step in the embassy evacuation.”
Yet on Thursday the State Dept. said that the draw down on diplomats was not an evacuation.
The Taliban entered the outskirts of the city early Sunday and fighters were seen gathering in the Kabul districts of Kampany and Barchi, a local reporter confirmed to ABC News. Officials told the Associated Press that there were also Taliban fighters in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman.
The American flag at the US embassy in Kabul has been taken down, marking a final step in the embassy evacuation, source tells me. State Dept Spox said on Thurs that the US drawdown of diplomats was not an evacuation. Now, 3 days later, the evac is on the verge of completion.— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) August 15, 2021