The U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, announced a “first come, first serve basis” on flights for stranded Americans at the airport.
“Please be advised that a significant number of individuals have registered and space on these flights is available on a first come, first serve basis,” the embassy’s website reads. “You may be required to wait at the airport for a significant amount of time until space is available.”
The limited space on flights is compounded by the dangers of reaching the airport, which the U.S. government reiterated Wednesday it cannot guarantee.
The embassy’s website also reads:
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
"THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT," says US Embassy Kabul security alert today.
It also advises that space on evacuation flights will be first come, first serve https://t.co/immbKKzbB6
— Jennifer Hansler (@jmhansler) August 18, 2021
The embassy also has included instructions about which door stranded Americans should enter at Kabul airport. “You should plan to enter the airport at Camp Sullivan,” the notice says. “From the HKIA Airport South Traffic Circle, head east for 1km and turn right on to Camp Sullivan. Please note that gates may change frequently and that we will provide updates as necessary.”
Reports surfaced Wednesday of increased Taliban brutality towards the Kabul inhabitants, while other reports Tuesday revealed the Taliban were surrounding the exterior of the airport’s perimeter, shooting at those who tried to jump the airport wall:
MEANWHILE: Taliban fighters shoot at civilians at the Kabul airport.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 17, 2021
The number of Americans still within the collapsed country four days after the Taliban took command is reported to be 10,000 to 40,000. The White House claimed Tuesday the “self-identified” number of Americans is about 11,000:
NEW: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says there are 11,000 “self-identified” Americans inside/outside Kabul.
Asked whether Americans should be prioritized for evacuations:
“We are prioritizing a number of groups.”
— Jenn Franco KESQ (@jennfranconews) August 17, 2021
CNN reported Tuesday night Biden’s administration has only evacuated about 1,100 Americans since Sunday. National security advisor Jake Sullivan, who a former Obama official stated should be fired for the failed withdraw, would not comment Tuesday if American troops would stay in Afghanistan long enough to ensure all Americans had left the country.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø