A rocket fell on a neighborhood located northwest of the Kabul airport on Aug. 29, killing one child. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, militants are known to have fired rockets in the past.
In what is considered to be an unrelated incident, the U.S. military conducted another drone strike aimed at a vehicle that carried “multiple suicide bombers” belonging to ISIS-K, which was apparently targeting the ongoing evacuation at the Kabul airport.
U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the American military’s Central Command, termed the drone attack as “self-defense,” adding that authorities are assessing the possibility of civilian casualties “though we have no indications at this time.”
Urban expressed confidence that the drone attack “successfully” hit the target. “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” he said.
In his speech, Biden said that the strike would not be the last and that Washington will “continue to hunt down” any person involved in the attack and “make them pay.” He admitted that the situation on the ground remains “extremely dangerous” given the terror threats.
“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours. I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources, and plans to protect our men and women on the ground,” Biden said in the statement.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has warned American citizens and Afghan aides to not approach the airport due to security threats. In the past two weeks, Washington has evacuated around 114,400 people out of Afghanistan. Afghan military commanders have expressed that rather than displaying a lack of will, they fought hard but lost Afghanistan to the Taliban due to a lack of logistics, most specifically due to a lack of resources to keep helicopters in the air. They now face the threat of ‘kill lists’, according to information that three Congressional officials shared with Politico, as well as stolen biometric data that might reveal their identities.
The plight of many who would not be able to evacuate by the Aug. 31 deadline set by U.S. President Joe Biden was anticipated in the early days of the takeover when women were reported by Zenger as throwing babies over the airport fence, and Afghan civilians seeking to escape were killed after clinging to the undercarriage of a departing U.S. military transport.
Some lawmakers are calling for resignations. “Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin and General Milley should all resign or face impeachment and removal from office,” Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn said in a tweet.
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy criticized Biden for the situation at the airport, calling the ISIS-K suicide bombing attack “another sorry set of events” triggered due to the president’s decision “to withdraw in the way we have.” He believes that the bombing incident has “stopped the flow of folks” who needed to get out of the country.
“We really have a bad hand here, created by the way the President decided to do this, the planning of it, and the poor execution of the planning… That said, if we can extend the deadline safely and get more Americans out—because there might still be some left—those of our allies and those who helped us while we were there, I would support that,” Cassidy said in an interview with Fox News.