December 3, 2021

Afghanistan airstrikes: US anti-missile system fired to intercept rockets at Kabul airport

KABUL, Afghanistan — Rocket fireplace apparently focusing on Kabul’s worldwide airport struck a close-by neighborhood Monday, the eve of the deadline for American troops to withdraw from the nation’s longest warfare after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It wasn’t instantly clear if anybody was damage.

A U.S. official instructed ABC Information that 5 rockets have been fired towards Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul on Sunday evening.

The official mentioned the U.S. navy’s anti-projectile C-RAM was fired to intercept the incoming rockets, although it isn’t but clear what number of it took out, if any.

The rockets didn’t halt the regular stream of U.S. navy C-17 cargo jets taking off and touchdown at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport within the Afghan capital. No group instantly claimed duty for the assault. Final week, the Islamic State group launched a devastating suicide bombing at one of many airport gates that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

The airport repeatedly has been a scene of chaos within the two weeks for the reason that Taliban blitz throughout Afghanistan that took management of the nation, almost 20 years after the preliminary U.S. invasion that adopted the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults. However for the reason that suicide bombing, the Taliban have tightened their safety cordon across the airfield, with their fighters seen simply up to the final fencing separating them from the runway.

Within the capital’s Chahr-e-Shaheed neighborhood, a crowd rapidly gathered across the stays of a four-door sedan utilized by the attackers, which had what appeared to be six home made rocket tubes mounted the place the backseat must be. The Islamic State group and different militants routinely mount such tubes into automobiles and quietly transport them undetected shut to a goal.

“I was inside the house with my children and other family members, suddenly there were some blasts,” mentioned Jaiuddin Khan, who lives close by. “We jumped into the house compound and lay on the ground.”

The rockets landed throughout city in Kabul’s Salim Karwan neighborhood, putting residential house blocks, witnesses mentioned. That neighborhood is a few 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the airport. There have been no rapid experiences of accidents.

In Washington, the White Home issued a press release saying officers briefed President Joe Biden on “the rocket attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport” in Kabul, apparently referring to the vehicle-based rocket launch that morning.

“The president was informed that operations continue uninterrupted at HKIA, and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground,” the assertion mentioned, utilizing an acronym for Kabul’s airport.

The U.S. navy didn’t reply to requests for remark. After the rocket fireplace, planes continued to land and taxi throughout to the northern navy facet of the airport. Planes took off roughly each 20 minutes at one level Monday morning.

Smoke from a number of fires alongside the airport’s perimeter might be seen all through Monday. It wasn’t clear what was ablaze, although U.S. forces usually destroy materials and tools they will not take with them throughout the evacuation.

The airport had been one of many few methods out for foreigners and Afghans fleeing the Taliban takeover. Nevertheless, coalition nations have halted their evacuations in current days, leaving the U.S. navy largely alone at the bottom with some remaining allied Afghan forces offering safety.

The U.S. State Division launched a press release Sunday signed by round 100 international locations, in addition to NATO and the European Union, saying they’d obtained “assurances” from the Taliban that folks with journey paperwork would nonetheless give you the option to go away the nation.

All 13 US troops killed in Kabul Airport assault ID’ed

The Taliban have mentioned they’ll enable regular journey after the U.S. withdrawal is accomplished on Tuesday they usually assume management of the airport. Nevertheless, it stays unclear how the militants will run the airport and which business carriers will start flying into the sphere given the continuing safety considerations there.

Whereas the Taliban has honored a pledge not to assault Western forces as long as they evacuate by Tuesday, the risk from the Islamic State’s native affiliate stays a hazard. The group, referred to as the Khorasan Province after a historic identify for the area, noticed a few of its members freed because the Taliban launched prisoners throughout the nation throughout their takeover.

On Sunday, a U.S. drone strike blew up a automobile carrying Islamic State suicide bombers earlier than they might assault the continuing navy evacuation at Kabul’s airport, American officers mentioned. Nevertheless, the Taliban mentioned the strike killed at least 10 individuals – together with civilians and three youngsters, sparking anger over the civilian casualties.

U.S. Navy Capt. Invoice City, a spokesman for the American navy’s Central Command, acknowledged the experiences of civilian casualties.

“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” he mentioned in a press release.

The U.S. carried out one other drone strike elsewhere within the nation on Saturday that it mentioned killed two Islamic State members.

WATCH: Biden pays respects to 13 US troops killed in Kabul airport assault

By Tuesday, the U.S. is ready to conclude a large two-week-long airlift of greater than 114,000 Afghans and foreigners and withdraw the final of its troops, ending America’s longest warfare with the Taliban again in energy.

Nevertheless, Afghans stay frightened of the Taliban returning to the oppressive rule for which it was as soon as identified. There have been sporadic experiences of killings and different abuses within the sweep throughout the nation.

In the meantime, a cross-border taking pictures throughout the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan killed two Pakistani troopers, the navy mentioned. Pakistani troops “responded in a befitting manner” after the assault within the district of Bajur of the nation’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the navy mentioned.