A US drone strike on Sunday destroyed an explosive-laden vehicle that the Pentagon said pose an imminent threat to major airports in Afghanistan.
Afghans said the drone strike killed as many as nine civilians, including children, and said the U.S. military was investigating the allegations.
The US-led coalition told Afghans waiting to be shipped abroad that the airlift was over for them. “I’m sorry to announce that the international military evacuation from Kabul Airport has ended,” it said in a text message sent late Saturday night.
Airlift has flown more than 117,000 people abroad since August 14, most of them Afghanistan, and some Afghans may already be waiting for planes at the airport, but thousands are left behind. It is. Desperate and dangerous scrambling to reach Kabul’s international airport and a deadly attack by the Islamic State branch last Thursday defined the chaotic and bloody end of America’s longest war.
U.S. forces with remaining military personnel from Afghanistan’s last outpost, the airport, prior to the Tuesday deadline set by President Biden to end the war that began after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. I hurriedly skipped the equipment. It played the second largest role in Afghanistan’s NATO army and withdrew its last army on Sunday.
For Americans and their allies, the last days in Afghanistan continue to be one of the most dangerous and uncertain. For several days, U.S. officials cited a “specific, credible threat” to the imminent attack, and the Pentagon stopped publicly stating the decline in the number of troops at the airport for security reasons.
Afghans have lived for nearly 20 years under the umbrella of American security, promising a better future and enabling a more modern society that connects with the rest of the world. With the return of the Taliban, that dream is over and the uncertain future beckons, especially for women and girls who were cruelly oppressed under the Taliban a generation ago.
The Islamic State branch, known as ISIS-K, carried out an airport bombing last week, killing an estimated 180 people, including 13 U.S. military personnel, and U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that further attacks are expected. Two British and a British child were also among those killed in the suicide bombing.
US troops launched a retaliatory drone strike on Friday, officials said they had killed two ISIS-K members. The Pentagon said a Sunday strike in Kabul destroyed the vehicle and killed one to three crew members wearing suicide bombers. The drone operated from a base in the United Arab Emirates, more than 1,000 miles away. This gives us a glimpse of how the future American war will take place.
“I’m confident that we’ve achieved our goal,” US Central Army spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement on Sunday. attack. “A serious secondary explosion from the vehicle showed the presence of a significant amount of explosives.”
A Taliban spokesman and people in Kabul, who posted on social media, said both homes and cars were attacked and several civilians were killed in the neighborhood just west of the airport.
Samim Shahyad, a 25-year-old journalism student, said the strike killed her father, two brothers, four young cousins, a niece, and a sister’s fiancée. He said three of the dead were girls under the age of two, and his aunt and uncle lost all three children.
“American aircraft have targeted us,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, they just cut my arm and broke my back, I can’t say anything more.”
Doctors at a nearby hospital said four bodies were brought there, two of which belonged to children.
U.S. military officials said the military was convinced that there were no civilians in the target vehicle, but admitted that the explosion of explosives in it could have caused “collateral damage.”
The video of the scene showed a metal entanglement that was barely recognizable as a vehicle wreckage, and just a few feet away was another vehicle’s scorched, mocking wreckage. Explosion hit.
Biden visited his hometown of Delaware on Sunday and joined a family of 13 soldiers who were killed during screening for people evacuating to the airport by suicide bombers on Thursday.
The President and First Lady Jill Biden met with their families on Sunday morning and stood solemnly with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin and other officials when the flag-bearing casket was taken from a military transport plane. ..
For nearly 20 years, the war has involved more than 2,400 U.S. military personnel, more than 1,100 military personnel from the Allies, more than 3,800 U.S. contractors, more than 500 aid workers and journalists, and more than 47,000 Afghan civilians. It has taken the lives of people. According to the Brown University War Costs Project, 69,000 Afghan soldiers and police officers and about 51,000 rebel fighters.
Tens of thousands of Afghans associated with NATO’s military and diplomatic efforts, or the fallen US-backed government, continue to seek ways abroad for fear of Taliban retaliation. Thousands of people rushing to the airport in the last two weeks—at risk of an ISIS-K attack, trampled by others and beaten by Taliban fighters trying to control the crowd—pass through the gates I couldn’t.
According to the State Department, the U.S. government is supporting about 250 American citizens who are still leaving Afghanistan, some of whom are already at the airport and have chosen not to leave for now, about 280. It has recognized.
There are reports that militants rounded up and killed Afghans who were cooperating with the former government or its foreign supporters, even though the Taliban vowed not to retaliate against former adversaries.
The U.S. and 97 other countries were “guaranteed by the Taliban” on Sunday that Afghanistan with travel documents from these countries would be allowed to leave Afghanistan after U.S. troops departed. Stated.
Countries also promised to “continue to issue travel documents to designated Afghans” and cited “clear expectations and commitments to the Taliban” for their safe passage. Especially missing from the statement were Russia and China, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, who promised to help the Taliban rebuild Afghanistan.
The Taliban chief negotiator, Shah Mohammed Abbas Stanexai, announced on Friday that the group would not prevent people from leaving the country, regardless of nationality or whether they worked in the United States during the 20-year war.
However, the Taliban have broken promises in the past, and their leaders have not always been able to control fighters and followers on the ground. Some aid organizations do not want to rely on the guarantee that people can be taken out of the airport and are attempting difficult and dangerous road trips.
Due to the rapid withdrawal of the United States, many in Afghanistan are full of sadness and despair, many fear living under the Taliban’s control, and struggle to support their families amid cash shortages and rising food prices. increase. Several banks opened in Kabul on Sunday, leaving a long line outside the door.
International aid groups have warned that the humanitarian crisis that has continued to be exacerbated by the war and drought in recent months has only been exacerbated during the turmoil and turmoil caused by the rapid Taliban takeover and the withdrawal of the United States.