The Pentagon said Monday that no military or civilian flights were coming or going to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time.
John F. Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said a security breach on the civilian side of the airport prompted U.S. Marines there — 2,500 on Monday morning — to suspend flights until troops secured the airport.
He said the military expects about 3,000 Marines to be on the ground at the airport on Tuesday morning to support evacuation efforts. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III sends another 1,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne to Kabul, rather than Kuwait, to help secure the area.
In total, there will be 6,000 U.S. troops performing security at the airport later this week and assisting with the evacuation.
Mr Kirby also said there was a preliminary report that a US soldier had been injured.
“All the images coming out are alarming and disturbing,” said Mr. Kirby, referring to a video of a US transport plane taking off from Kabul airport with desperate Afghans hanging from its wings. Those people were later seen falling from the plane.
He said all Americans and Afghan allies “must remain in place until security at the airport can be restored”.
He said Turkish troops at the airport helped the marines make it safe.