The Pentagon Says U.S. Operations In Afghanistan Will End Soon

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A view from the scene after rockets were fired at the Afghan capital Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday. Casualties are feared, but no immediate details were available.

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What We Know About The 13 U.S. Service Members Killed In The Kabul Attack

U.S. strikes back at ISIS-K

Urban, the Centcom spokesman, described Sunday’s drone strike as a «self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike.»

«We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,» he said.

The two drone strikes on Friday and Sunday came after President Biden last week vowed to hunt down the perpetrators of Thursday’s airport attack. A day before the second U.S. strike, Biden warned that another attack on the airport was imminent and that he had directed U.S. commanders to «take every possible measure to prioritize force protection.»

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the lead up to the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline was «the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days.»

On Sunday, the president attended a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in which the flag-draped caskets containing bodies of the U.S. service members killed in last week’s attack in Kabul arrived aboard a C-17 plane.

Biden stood with grieving families as honor guards in dress uniforms removed the caskets. He and first lady Jill Biden also met privately with family members of the dead.

Eleven Marines, one Army soldier and one member of the Navy were among the dead. In a statement on Saturday, the president called them «heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others.»

«The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others,» Biden said in the statement. «Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.»

Evacuations continuing as deadline approaches

As airport evacuations continued on Monday, the White House said that about 1,200 people were evacuated from Kabul in the 24 hours ending at 3 a.m. ET Monday.

«This is the result of 26 US military flights (26 C-17s) which carried approximately 1,200 evacuees, and 2 coalition flights which carried 50 people,» the statement said.

The statement said that since Aug. 14, the U.S. «has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation» of some 116,700 people. It said that since the end of July, the U.S. has relocated about 122,300 people.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration believes it will still have «substantial leverage» over the Taliban after U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan that will allow the U.S. and its allies to safely leave the country even after Tuesday’s deadline.

Biden has said he is committed to withdrawing U.S. forces by Tuesday, but Sullivan said there are about 300 American citizens who remain in the country. Many others hoping to evacuate are Afghans who helped the U.S. military and who qualified for special immigrant visas (SIV) or other visas to come to the U.S.

At Monday’s Pentagon briefing, Kirby said it was not too late for any remaining Americans to get to the Kabul airport for evacuation flights.

«There is still time,» he said.

  • Islamic State Khorasan
  • Taliban
  • Afghanistan


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