“Extremely dangerous”: this is how US President Biden describes the situation in Kabul a few days before the total withdrawal of US troops. The US military is now attacking there directly from the air.
Kabul / Berlin / Washington (dpa) – Along with the ongoing withdrawal of US troops from the Afghan capital Kabul, the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia is now reaching a climax.
The US military reportedly attacked a car belonging to the local ISIS branch in Kabul on Sunday with a drone. This may have prevented another major terrorist attack after Thursday’s attack, which left dozens of people dead. US President Joe Biden warned that the situation in Kabul would remain “extremely dangerous”.
The US central command announced that there had been a “major secondary explosion” after the airstrike. This suggests that the attacked vehicle was loaded with a large amount of explosives, spokesman Bill Urban said. An “immediate threat” to the airport has been eliminated. There is initially no indication of civilian casualties from the attack.
Local television station ArianaNews reported, citing eyewitnesses, that six people, including four children, were killed when a mortar shell hit a private house in Kabul’s 15th Police District. Two vehicles and parts of the house were destroyed. It was not immediately clear whether these casualties could be attributed to the US airstrike rather than a mortar shell. The airport is also located in the 15th Police District.
The threat of attacks at the airport, where the withdrawal of American troops has started and where the last military evacuations are underway, is very high. According to US reports, an ISIS terrorist attacker blew himself up outside a door on Thursday. Dozens were killed in the attack, including 13 American soldiers between the ages of 20 and 31. The US military initially responded with a drone attack in Nangarhar province and claimed to have killed two high-ranking representatives of the ISIS branch.
Islamist Taliban militants captured Kabul 14 days ago after their triumphant advance across the country. Since then, they have been the new rulers. Following the withdrawal of international troops by August 31, the focus will be on the security situation and how those in need of protection can still leave the country safely. It will be necessary to rely on the Taliban for this, for example for the safe escort to checkpoints by land or for the resumption of air operations in Kabul.
Shortly before the end of their military evacuation mission, the United States and its allies transported an additional 2,900 people in 24 hours. The US Air Force had secured about 2,200 people with 32 flights Sunday morning (Kabul time), the White House said. A total of 114,000 people have been evacuated by plane since mid-August.