A US drone attack targeted an “imminent ISIS-K threat” on Sunday at Kabul airport, where officials warned of further attacks following a suicide bombing last week.
The Pentagon confirmed the airstrike on Sunday after several news outlets reported an explosion in a residential area near the airport. A US official said the air strike on Sunday hit a vehicle that was carrying a suicide bomber.
It was the second known air strike against IS-K terrorists since a suicide bomber killed 13 US soldiers and more than 169 Afghans near a gate to Kabul airport on Thursday.
President Joe Biden was due to meet the families of the US soldiers killed in the attack at Dover Air Force Base on Sunday.
The US embassy in Kabul had warned of a “concrete, credible threat” and asked those willing to evacuate to leave the airport. President Joe Biden said Saturday that Kabul airport was “very likely” to be the target of another attack before the August 31 withdrawal deadline.
13 US soldiers and more than 169 Afghans were killed in an explosion at the airport on Thursday. Two IS-K members were killed in a retaliatory attack by US drones on Friday.
Group of 111 Afghan evacuees arrives in Kosovo
PRISTINA, Kosovo – The Kosovar government says a group of 111 Afghan evacuees they will be taking in on a temporary basis has arrived in Kosovo.
The Afghans who worked with NATO and their families came from the Ramstein military base in Germany. You will be accommodated near the US military camp Bondsteel, 40 kilometers south of the capital Pristina.
Kosovo has announced that it will temporarily house up to 2,000 Afghans while they process documents on their final destination in the United States.
Senior leaders from Kosovo and several Western ambassadors were present to greet the evacuees.
“Many years ago we were victims of genocide ourselves,” said President Vjosa Osmani. “We will be at the side of all NATO partners until this is all successfully completed.”
“We will do everything we can to ensure that you are safe here and at the same time find peace,” said Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
–The Associated Press
More:Biden said the US was hunting down the Kabul airport attackers. A day later, a drone attack killed two ISIS-K targets.
Massachusetts Marine killed in suicide bombing recognized as hero
Marine Corps Sgt.Johanny Rosariopichardo, who was killed in a suicide bombing near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan this week, received praise and condolences in her home state of Massachusetts in the days following the fatal attack.
Governor Charlie Baker called Rosariopichardo, 25, who attended high school in Lawrence, northeast Massachusetts, “a Massachusetts hero who left early.” She was one of 13 US soldiers killed in the attack on Thursday.
Rosariopichardo, who also used the surname Rosario, was assigned to the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, according to the US Department of Defense.
Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez issued a statement saying he was “heartbroken” over the loss of “a daughter of our town”. Her family asked for privacy, “and that her loved one be recognized for the heroine she was,” he said.
Continue reading:Marine Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, “a Massachusetts hero”, was killed in an attack on an airport in Afghanistan
About 300 Americans are still waiting to leave Afghanistan, Blinken says
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the United States is doing “everything possible” to get about 300 American citizens who have stated they want to leave Afghanistan by August 31.
“We are working very actively to help them get to the airport, get on a plane and leave Afghanistan,” Blinken said during an interview on ABCS This Week.
The White House said on Sunday that around 2,900 people have been evacuated from Kabul in the last 24 hours ending at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Around 114,400 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14.
– Rebecca Morin
Blinken says the US is able to hit terrorists on the ground without boots
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the United States will retain the ability to find and hit terrorists “who want to harm us.”
“We have the capacities around the world, including Afghanistan, to pick up, find and beat terrorists who want to harm us,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press.
Blinken cited examples such as Yemen, Somalia and Libya as places where the US has the opportunity to attack terrorists, but “has no boots on site at any operating bases”.
The US has bases in close proximity to these countries, but not near Afghanistan, which Blinken didn’t mention. For example, it would take several hours to fly a drone from Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, to Afghanistan.
– Rebecca Morin and Tom Vanden Brook
US official: Air strike targets suicide bombers
At least one of the occupants of the vehicle that was attacked by a US airstrike on Sunday is believed to be a suicide bomber, according to a US official.
The Pentagon confirmed the drone attack on Sunday, saying it was directed against an “imminent threat from ISIS-K” on the Kabul airport.
– Tom Vanden Brook
More:The US is likely to continue its attacks on ISIS-K even as the challenges increase after leaving Afghanistan
Pentagon: US drone strike in Kabul hits “imminent” threat from ISIS-K
US forces carried out a drone attack against an “imminent threat from ISIS-K” against the airport in Kabul on Sunday, the military said in a statement.
“We are confident that we have successfully hit the target,” said Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command. “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a significant amount of explosive material.
There are no early indications that civilians were killed in the attack, but the military continues to assess the consequences, Urban said.
The strike came after President Joe Biden warned on Saturday of an impending attack on the airport, where US forces are completing evacuation of civilians and preparing for a final retreat from the 20-year US war there.
Defense officials had warned that IS-K terrorists tried to use a vehicle loaded with explosives to attack Hamid Karzai International Airport.
It is the second known air strike on IS-K terrorists since a suicide bomber killed 13 American soldiers and more than 169 Afghans at the airport on Thursday. On Friday, according to the Pentagon, a drone attack killed two IS-K fighters who had planned and made attacks possible.
– Tom Vanden Brook
Before:Afghanistan Live Updates: US Warns Americans to Leave Kabul Airport “Immediately”; Biden says another attack in Kabul is “very likely”
Citing the Taliban, AP reports that a US air strike targets a suicide bomber at Kabul airport
KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban said a US air strike on Sunday targeted a suicide bomber in a vehicle attempting to attack Kabul International Airport while the American military was being evacuated there.
There were few initial details about the incident, as well as a missile that hit a quarter northwest of the airport and killed a child. The two strikes initially appeared to be separate incidents, although information on both was still scarce.
Reuters reported that the US went on strike in Kabul and the BBC reported that there was an explosion.
Citing an Afghan police chief, the Associated Press reported that a missile hit a quarter northwest of the airport, killing a child. Reuters reported that the US went on strike in Kabul.
Zabihullah Mujahid said in a message to journalists that the attack was aimed at the bomber while he was driving a vehicle loaded with explosives. Mujahid disclosed few other details.
US military officials were not immediately available for comment.
The rocket attack has meanwhile hit Kabul’s Khuwja Bughra district, said Rashid, the Kabul police chief, who has only one name. A video The Associated Press received after the attack showed smoke rising from buildings on the site about a kilometer from the airport.
Look back for updates on this developing story.
– Associated press
White House: 300 Americans must be evacuated in “serious danger”
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the number of Americans still awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan is now 300, even though the operation remains a high-risk operation.
“We are at a time of serious danger given what we see in the intelligence services,” Sullivan told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “We take all possible measures to ensure that our forces are protected on site.”
The US faces a self-imposed deadline on Tuesday to evacuate fleeing Americans. Sullivan said around 300 were evacuated Saturday, two days after a suicide bomber killed 13 US soldiers.
– Ledyard King
More:Graphics and satellite images show how the complex and dangerous evacuation from Kabul Airport works
2,900 more people evacuated from Afghanistan
The White House released the latest statistics on evacuations from Kabul Airport on Sunday.
In the 24 hours that ended at 3 a.m. on Sunday, around 2,900 people were evacuated from Kabul. About 2,200 evacuees were on board US military flights, while 700 departed on coalition flights.
The latest figures put the total evacuees at around 114,400 since August 14.
– Rick Rouan
Biden meets with families of killed soldiers
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are due to meet on Sunday morning with the families of American soldiers who were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport last week.
More:They made the “ultimate sacrifice”: the Department of Defense identified 13 US soldiers who were killed in a bomb attack on an airport in Afghanistan
The Bidens are scheduled to take part in a “dignified transfer” at Dover Air Force Base on Sunday lunchtime, in which killed soldiers will be returned to the United States.
Thursday’s explosion killed 13 U.S. soldiers, including 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman and an Army soldier, and at least 169 Afghans.
– Rick Rouan