The U.S. on Monday intercepted as many as five rockets launched at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
The White House said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chief of Staff Ron Klain briefed President Joe Biden on the attempted attack. Another official told Reuters there are no initial reports detailing any U.S. casualties.
“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,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a statement.
“We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan. We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country. We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries. We note the public statements of the Taliban confirming this understanding,” the statement reads.
The rocket attack comes one day after the U.S. drone struck an explosive-filled vehicle in route to Kabul’s airport and four days after an ISIS-K suicide bomber killed 13 American troops and some 170 Afghan nationals. It also happened one day before the American military is scheduled to fully withdraw from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war.
The U.S. on Saturday again warned of a “specific, credible threat” near the airport, urging Americans remaining to evacuate the premises as soon as possible. Biden also said that day another attack in the capital was “highly likely.”
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Andrew Trunsky on August 30, 2021
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