Coalition soldiers secure a section of perimeter fence at Kabul airport this week. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

Coalition soldiers secure a section of perimeter fence at Kabul airport this week. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Citing “security threats,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent out an alert overnight advising U.S. citizens not to travel to the airport, and said that those presently at three airport gates “should leave immediately.”

“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 alert stated.

“U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”

The embassy, which is operating out of the airport since the embassy compound was evacuated when the Taliban swept into Kabul, encouraged American citizens to be aware of their surroundings, especially in large crowds.

They should also “follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews,” monitor local media for breaking events, and follow the State Department on social media.

The warning to Americans to stay away from the airport – or leave if they are already at one of the three named entrances – comes less than six days before, by President Biden’s timetable, the last U.S. troops will be withdrawn at the end of the military-led effort to evacuate U.S. citizens, nationals of other countries, and at-risk Afghans including those who helped the U.S. in Afghanistan in various capacities and are eligible for special immigrant visas.

The U.S. Embassy has urged Americans to leave the North, East, and Abbey gates at Kabul’s international airport where the evacuation operation is underway. (Image: CNSNews.com /Google Maps)

The U.S. Embassy has urged Americans to leave the North, East, and Abbey gates at Kabul’s international airport where the evacuation operation is underway. (Image: CNSNews.com / Google Maps)

 

The administration has for several days been warning of threats to Americans in Kabul from the Afghanistan affiliate of ISIS (ISIS-Khorasan or ISIS-K), with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan early this week describing the threat as “acute” and “persistent.”

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians,” Biden said Tuesday in his comments confirming that August 31 remains the target date to end the operation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden had been briefed again earlier in the day on the ISIS-K threat.

The “real threat” posed by the group was “a big factor on the president’s mind,” and was “why we are concerned about numbers around the airport,” she said.

At the Pentagon, press secretary John Kirby declined to “go into specific intelligence” but said that there are “credible threats.”

“This has been a – a dangerous place that has had threats by ISIS and we continue to ensure that we collect and keep the force protection to the highest levels possible to ensure that we’re able to continue evacuation operations,” he said.