American citizens are being “harassed” and “beaten” by the Taliban behind enemy lines in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Pentagon confirmed Saturday.
“We don’t believe it is a large number,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said before blaming the Taliban leadership for not communicating to their fellow terrorists on the font lines.
In the same press conference, Kirby indicated most Americans are having no problems reaching the extraction point at the airport, echoing President Biden’s statement Friday.
The RNC War Room Captured the statement:
To the “best of our knowledge – Taliban checkpoints – they are letting through people showing American passports,” Biden said in contradiction to his own Defense Secretary, who initially stated that Americans have been abused and beaten on the ground.
Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Saturday is warning American citizens to “avoid” the Kabul airport because of “security threats outside the gates.”
“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport,” the embassy said on its website, “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.”
At the airport, Saturday reports indicate the Taliban is threatening to shoot evacuees while stealing U.S. passports. “Go back to your home, or I will shoot you,” a Taliban fighter told one man, “according to a person who witnessed the encounter.”
“I got to the gates and was about to show my passport, but the Taliban got it, and he said you are not allowed to go through and wouldn’t give it back,” an Afghan American on the ground told to the New York Post. “I was lucky a U.S. marine was right there and forced him to give it back.”
“It’s definitely chaotic,” a CNN reporter tweeted. “It’s definitely dangerous.”
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.