With the days winding down until the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan and Americans still trapped in Kabul, the State Department issued a warning on Wednesday that they should no longer attempt to get to the airport due to “security threats.” Those who were around the airport trying to get in were instructed to “leave immediately.”
Earlier this week lawmakers had been expressing concern about the chaotic situation outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, saying the threat of a terror attack was “very real and very substantial.”
Tragically, those warnings came to pass on Thursday after a “complex attack” at the Kabul airport and another explosion at a nearby hotel were carried out. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul told staff that four Marines were killed and at least three others were wounded in the attack. The overall death toll is still unconfirmed, however.
[Update: The number of service members killed may be at least 11.]
I’ve been told by a reliable source connected to the ground in Kabul that at least 11 U.S. service members have been killed.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 26, 2021
Instead of giving answers to the American people about what the U.S. knows regarding the attacks, the State Department has ‘gone into hiding,’ canceling today's briefing.
JUST IN - U.S. State Department goes into hiding and cancels today’s briefing.— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 26, 2021
On social media, the State Department's Twitter account has thus far only retweeted the Pentagon's statement about the attack.
“We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport. A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and State Department spokesman Ned Price have also remained silent, though Blinken is reportedly in the Situation Room with President Biden.