This strike occurred just two days before the U.S. was due to end a huge two-week-long U.S. airlift of more that 114,000 Afghans and other foreigners, and pull the last of its troops. It will also bring an end to America's longest conflict with the Taliban.
U.S. Central Command stated that it was aware of reports of civilian casualties, and that it is currently evaluating the impact of the strike. Navy Capt. Navy Capt.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement that was signed by more than 100 countries as well NATO and the European Union. It stated that they had been given "assurances" by the Taliban that travelers with valid travel documents could still leave the country. After the U.S. withdrawal on Tuesday, the Taliban will allow normal travel and take control of the airport.
Security concerns meant that the Afghan official spoke only under anonymity. Witnesses said that the drone strike struck two cars in a residential area near the airport. It also injured and killed several civilians. Officials initially thought there was a separate rocket attack on the building next to the airport. However, it turned out that the event was the same.
A senior U.S. official claims that a U.S. military drone shot a Hellfire missile at the vehicle inside a compound. It was fired after several people were seen loading explosives into the trunk. According to the official, there was an initial explosion from the missile followed by a larger fireball that may have been caused by the large amount of explosives in the vehicle. Two members of the Islamic State group were believed to have been killed by the missile.
According to the official, it seems that the secondary explosion caused significant damage to one of nearby buildings. An official spoke only under condition of anonymity in order to provide details about a military operation.
Dina Mohammadi claimed that her extended family lived in the building, and that many of them were killed. She could not immediately provide information about the names and ages of those who died.
Karim, a district representative said that the strike set off a firestorm that made it difficult for people to be rescued. He said, "There was smoke everywhere. I took some children out and women out."
Ahmaduddin, a neighbor said that he had taken the bodies of the children from the scene. This set off even more explosions within the house. The two Afghan men are each known by one name, just like many Afghans.
Urban stated, "We would be deeply disturbed by any potential loss to innocent life."
Urban stated earlier in the day that the U.S. was certain that the missile hit its target. Urban also stated that large secondary explosions were a sign of the presence of an "important amount of explosive material" within the vehicle.
Two days ago, an Islamic State suicide attack at the airport left at least 169 Afghans dead and 13 U.S. military personnel wounded. Two IS members were killed in a drone strike that the U.S. conducted elsewhere in the country.
President Joe Biden had pledged to continue airstrikes and said Saturday that another attack was "highly probable". The State Department called this threat "specific" as well as "credible."
The Sunni extremists of IS, with links to the group's more well-known affiliate in Syria and Iraq, have carried out a series of attacks, mainly targeting Afghanistan's Shiite Muslim minority, including a 2020 assault on a maternity hospital in Kabul that killed women and newborns.
In the past, the Taliban have fought against IS affiliates and have promised to stop Afghanistan becoming a terrorist base. Al-Qaida plotted and executed the 9/11 attacks while being protected by the Taliban, prompting the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
After Thursday's attack on the airport, the Taliban increased security at the airport. This cleared away large crowds who had gathered to board the airlift.
Britain's evacuation flights were completed Saturday. Most of the United States allies had theirs concluded earlier in this week. However, U.S. military cargo aircrafts made their way into the airport on Sunday ahead of President Joe Biden's Tuesday deadline to withdraw all American troops.
Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the U.S. has the capacity to evacuate the estimated 300 Americans who remain in the country and wish to leave. According to Sullivan, the U.S. will not have an embassy in Afghanistan after Tuesday's withdrawal, but it will provide safe passage for all Americans, legal permanent residents, and those who helped us.
Interviews with Sunday talk-show hosts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the U.S. is working with other countries in order to make sure that the airport continues to function normally after the withdrawal. He also said that the Taliban will allow people to travel free.
Recent statements from the Taliban were similar to those made by the Taliban, while they urged Afghans not to leave and rebuild the war-ravaged nation.
Fearing the Taliban's swift takeover, thousands of Afghans fled the country earlier this month. They fear a return to the brutal Islamic rule that was imposed on Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. Others fear reprisals or general instability.
The Taliban pledged to make all Afghans free from American and NATO comrades and said they wanted to restore security and peace after decades of war. Many Afghans distrust this group and have reported reports of summary executions, human rights violations, and other abuses in areas under Taliban rule.
These fears were only heightened by the shooting of a singer from a troubled region north of Kabul. Fawad Andarabi's family claimed that the Taliban shot him without any reason. This was just days after they searched his house and had drank tea together.
Jawad, his son, stated that he was innocent and a singer who was only interested in entertaining people. They shot him on the farm.
The shooting took place in the Andarabi Valley (for which the family was named), about 100 km (60 miles) north from Kabul. This is where the Taliban fought local fighters even though they had taken the capital. The Taliban say they have retaken the region, which is near mountainous Panjshir, the only one of Afghanistan's 34 provinces not under Taliban control.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, said that his group would investigate the shooting without giving any additional information. When they ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban declared music un-Islamic.
Andarabi performed the ghichak (a bowed lute) and sang traditional songs about his country, people, and birthplace. A video online showed him at one performance, sitting on a rug with the mountains behind him.
He sang, "There is no nation in the world like mine homeland, a proud country." "Our beautiful valley, the homeland of our great-grandparents."
Karima Bennoune was the special UN rapporteur for cultural rights. She said that she was "gravely concerned" about Andarabi's death. She tweeted, "We call upon governments to demand that the Taliban respect #humanrightsof #artists."
Amnesty International secretary-general Agnes Callamard also condemned the killing.
She tweeted, "There is mounting evidence to show that the Taliban in 2021 is the exact same as the violent, intolerant, and repressive Taliban in 2001." "Nothing has changed in that regard."