US carries out Kabul airstrike targeting suspected ISIS-K car bomb posing ‘imminent’ threat to airport

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Smoke rises from detonation extracurricular the airdrome successful Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The detonation went disconnected extracurricular Kabul’s airport, wherever thousands of radical person flocked arsenic they effort to fly the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Officials offered nary casualty count, but a witnesser said respective radical appeared to person been killed oregon wounded Thursday. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

The United States carried retired a defensive airstrike successful the Afghan capital, Kabul, targeting a suspected ISIS-K car weaponry that posed an “imminent” menace to the airport, US Central Command said Sunday.

US forces person been racing to implicit their evacuation cognition earlier Tuesday’s deadline and nether the menace of a caller panic onslaught connected Hamid Karzai International Airport successful Kabul.

A termination bombing extracurricular the airdrome gates connected Thursday killed 13 US work members and astatine slightest 170 others.

Sunday’s drone onslaught is the 2nd by US forces targeted the ISIS-K panic radical successful the abstraction of 3 days.

“U.S. subject forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike contiguous connected a conveyance successful Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K menace to Hamad Karzai International airport,” said spokesperson Capt. Bill Urban.

“We are assured we successfully deed the target. Significant secondary explosions from the conveyance indicated the beingness of a important magnitude of explosive material.”

A Pentagon authoritative told CNN that this was a drone onslaught connected a conveyance containing what they judge were aggregate termination bombers.

Urban said the US subject was “assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we person nary indications astatine this time” and would stay vigilant against imaginable aboriginal threats.

Neighbors and witnesses astatine the country of the onslaught successful Kabul told CNN that respective radical were killed, including children.

US President Joe Biden said Saturday that subject commanders had advised that “another violent onslaught connected Kabul’s airdrome is “highly apt successful the adjacent 24-36 hours,” and the US Embassy successful Kabul warned each US citizens to permission the airdrome country immediately.

The White House said Sunday greeting that astir 2,900 radical were evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. ET Saturday to 3 a.m. ET Sunday. Those evacuations were carried retired by 32 US subject flights and 9 conjugation flights.

The ngo is intelligibly winding down, with less radical brought retired than during the aforesaid clip play connected preceding days.

Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base successful Delaware on Sunday to mourn with the families of the 13 US work members killed successful Thursday’s onslaught arsenic their bodies were brought backmost to US soil.

ISIS successful Khorasan, known arsenic ISIS-K, has claimed that an ISIS militant carried retired the termination attack, but provided nary grounds to enactment the claim. US officials person said the radical was apt down the bombing.

On Saturday, the Pentagon said 2 “high profile” ISIS targets had been killed and different injured successful a US drone onslaught precocious Friday successful Jalalabad, successful Afghanistan’s eastbound Nangarhar province, successful a retaliatory onslaught for Thursday’s attack.

Afghans near behind

After a desperate, two-week effort to evacuate their citizens and Afghan allies from the state pursuing the Taliban’s seizure of power, Western governments present look the situation of however to woody with an Islamist militant radical they’ve spent the past 2 decades fighting.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said helium intends, alongside the United Kingdom, to taxable a solution to an exigency league of the UN Security Council (UNSC) that would absorption connected the instauration of a “safe zone” successful Kabul for Afghans leaving the country.

“Our draught solution aims to define, nether UN protection, a harmless portion successful Kabul that would let humanitarian operations to continue,” Macron told French paper Journal du Dimanche, adding that helium intends to “maintain unit connected the Taliban” successful doing so. The UNSC league is owed to convene Monday.

Florence, a Frenchwoman surviving successful a suburb of Paris, believed her Afghan hubby of 18 years would alert retired of Kabul to information connected Thursday.

But the airdrome termination bombing near him stranded successful the Afghan capital. France wrapped up its evacuation ngo connected Friday — leaving Florence, whose past sanction CNN is not utilizing for information reasons, terrified for her husband’s fate.

“My hubby is wholly lost, he’s stressed, he’s scared, helium doesn’t cognize which mode he’ll travel backmost to France. Now he’s reasoning possibly to instrumentality the road,” Florence said.

Her hubby is conscionable 1 of perchance thousands of radical inactive successful Afghanistan who fearfulness their lives could beryllium successful information nether Taliban rule.

‘They are terrible’

For those astatine hazard successful Kabul and elsewhere, the representation appears bleak.

Florence’s hubby was successful Afghanistan for his father’s ceremonial and had been owed to alert retired connected a commercialized formation connected August 22.

Despite having a French residency licence and being connected the French overseas ministry’s rider database for evacuation, helium ne'er made it past US forces guarding the airdrome gates successful Kabul, she said.

He is terrified astatine what volition befall his state nether Taliban rule.

“It’s horrible erstwhile you spell backmost to the aforesaid conditions than 20 years agone due to the fact that erstwhile you don’t know, you are conscionable surviving the infinitesimal but erstwhile you cognize precisely who these radical are, what volition hap to you, it’s overmuch much terrible,” she said. “One happening that touched maine is erstwhile my hubby said, ‘I’m precise blessed my begetter is dormant truthful helium doesn’t spot that, to not spot that anymore,’ they are unspeakable you know, terrible.”

Her hubby besides fears for his ain safety, arsenic being recovered successful possession of the French documents that could springiness him a mode retired represents a monolithic information successful itself.

“It’s already a immense problem, if they recognize that helium is joined to a French citizen, determination is not 1 infinitesimal of his beingness still, determination is not 1 infinitesimal of his beingness imaginable anymore, they volition termination him,” Florence said.

Johnson: ‘We volition usage each lever we have’

Britain concluded its ain evacuation ngo from Afghanistan connected Saturday, with its past remaining diplomatic unit pulled retired alongside subject forces.

While astir 15,000 radical were brought to safety, according to the UK ambassador to Kabul, the caput of the UK’s equipped forces, Gen. Nick Carter, told the BBC that radical eligible beryllium brought retired numbering successful the “high hundreds” had been near behind.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday that diplomatic designation of the Taliban arsenic Afghanistan’s “new regime” would beryllium babelike connected the organization’s actions, stressing that Britain would “engage with the Taliban not connected the ground of what they say, but what they do.”

“If the caller authorities successful Kabul wants diplomatic recognition, oregon to unlock the billions that are presently frozen, they volition person to guarantee harmless transition for those who privation to permission the country, to respect the rights of women and girls, and to forestall Afghanistan from, again, becoming an incubator for planetary terror,” Johnson said.

“We volition usage each lever we person — political, economic, diplomatic — to assistance the radical of Afghanistan and to support our ain state from harm,” helium added.

Johnson, whose video connection was recorded aft the evacuation of Britain’s past remaining subject and diplomatic unit from Kabul, described the evacuation effort arsenic a “mission dissimilar thing we’ve seen successful our lifetimes.” The UK embassy volition present relocate to Doha, Qatar.

“Though we would not person wished to permission successful this way, we person to admit that we came successful with the United States, successful defence and enactment of the United States,” Johnson continued, adding that the UK authorities would summation its improvement assistance to Afghanistan to £286 cardinal (about $394 million).

At the Vatican, Pope Francis said helium was pursuing the concern successful Afghanistan “with large concern” arsenic helium delivered his Angelus Prayer and thanked those moving to assistance radical successful need.

“I instrumentality portion successful the suffering of the radical who outcry for those they mislaid successful the termination onslaught that took spot connected Thursday, and for those who hunt for assistance and protection,” the Pope said.

“I inquire everyone to proceed to assistance those successful request and to commune that a dialog for solidarity brings a brotherly coexistence that volition connection anticipation for the aboriginal of the country.”

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