The Washington Examiner reported Wednesday that the State Department had issued a warning to Americans in Afghanistan that the airport in the country’s capital of Kabul was in danger of being attacked.
That warning became reality the following day, when a series of explosions outside the airport left at least 12 American military personnel dead, along with an unknown number of Afghans, according to CNBC.
“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, 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,” the Wednesday warning from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul read, according to the Examiner. “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”
12 Americans die in attack
The U.K.’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office had released a similar statement, according to the Examiner. “The security situation in Afghanistan remains volatile,” the agency declared.
“There is an ongoing and high threat of terrorist attack,” it added. “Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport. If you are in the area of the airport, move away to a safe location and await further advice.”
By Thursday, Fox News was reporting that suicide bombers had unleashed at least two explosions at the airport that killed some 11 Marines and one U.S. Navy corpsman. At least 15 other servicemen were said to have been injured, according to CNBC.
The attack on the airport was reportedly followed by a gun battle at Abbey Gate between American forces and a group of terrorists who were believed to be affiliated with ISIS.
“The threat from ISIS is extremely real,” Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. told Fox. “We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks, and we expect those attacks to continue, and we’re doing everything we can to prepare for those attacks.”
Trump issues statement
Fox also cited a source on the ground who claimed hundreds of ISIS members are thought to be in the vicinity of the Kabul airport, and that additional attacks are likely.
“Military continues to retrograde and depart airport. Almost a certainty that Americans will be left behind,” the unnamed source explained, according to Fox. “They will have to be extracted after the fact through either Taliban negotiation or unconventional means.”
Former President Donald Trump has also spoken on the issue, Fox notes, issuing a statement Thursday in which he offered his “deepest condolences to the families of our brilliant and brave Service Members whose duty to the U.S.A. meant so much to them.”
“This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen, which makes our grief even deeper and more difficult to understand,” Trump added, according to Fox.