ISIS Fires Rockets at Kabul Airport
In the latest development in Afghanistan, five rockets were fired at the Kabul airport, likely by the terrorist group ISIS-K. The U.S. was able to strike back; however, a rocket did hit a nearby building. These rocket attacks came days after the bomb attacks at the airport that took the lives of 13 American service members. Clearly as the deadline for Americans to evacuate Afghanistan quickly approaches, the situation on the ground is escalating.
There were many failures that led to the circumstances in Afghanistan. The lack of U.S. military control at the airport access points was one of the first major failures in President Biden’s exit strategy. In a meeting between senior U.S. military leaders and the head Taliban political leader – Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader reportedly said:
We have a problem. We have two options to deal with it: You [the United States military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.
ACLJ Senior Military Analyst and retired Colonel Wes Smith discusses the military mistakes made by the Biden Administration:
The mistakes keep being compounded by additional mistakes. But early on, this is after 34 capitals have fallen to the Taliban across the country. By the way, the agreement we had with the Taliban that started with the Trump Administration that said specifically you cannot take provincial capitals. If provincial capitals are taken by you – the Taliban – we will take military action. . . . One by one those provincial capitals fell – 34 of them. Then they get to the Capital City of Kabul and they say you can either take control of security there, or we will. And we forfeit? We let them do it. Of course, at the time General McKenzie is thinking, "I only have 2,500 troops. . . ." They ended up sending in 5,000 more which would have been enough to secure Kabul. Plus, we still had Afghan National Army troops with us – they were also in Kabul. Yet, they did not tell the Taliban, "Look between us and the Afghan army, we will secure the city until we get out." They literally . . . gave the capital city of Kabul to the Taliban for “security” and of course 13 service members are dead later on because of that decision.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is once again relying on the Taliban when he claimed a senior Taliban leader assured the freedom to evacuate passed August 31st:
You may have seen that just yesterday a very senior Taliban official went on television and radio across the country and repeatedly assured people in Afghanistan that they would have the freedom to travel after August 31st. He even specifically said those who worked for the Americans and those who want to leave for whatever reason will have that freedom. Now, of course, we don’t take the Taliban at their word. We take them by their deed, and that’s what we’re going to be looking to.
Does anyone believe that? After we gave them a list of our translators and American citizens, will they just let them safely leave? The Taliban has been killing Americans for 20 years. Do we really think that after midnight tomorrow in Afghanistan they are going to start keeping their word?
ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explains in his new article how the chaos in Afghanistan has led to a humanitarian crisis. He points out:
Well, it’s almost certainly the case that it has deteriorated materially in the last couple of weeks already in those areas that have previously been under the control of the Afghan government. Life was more normal than it had been in an awfully long time in Afghanistan. Women were going to school. There were kids being educated. It wasn’t America, but it was better. The places governed by the Taliban were significantly worse – massive human rights violations. That now is the state of affairs for nearly all of Afghanistan. So, the lives of these people will be severely diminished, and their freedoms vanish.
Sec. Pompeo summed up how dangerous this situation is for our troops on the ground:
These kinds of transitions, even perfectly executed, are always difficult to manage. I pray that our military has been provided the resources they need to execute this in a way that reduces risk. There is no doubt as you're trying to get that last piece of equipment, those last people that you have decided are going to be on the inside out, it is a very difficult problem setting. Contrary to what we have heard this Administration's senior leaders say, these folks don’t have an incentive to make this easy. In fact, they have an incentive to make us pay a price as we are exiting, so that we will never consider returning again.
ISIS-K and the Taliban know that our deadline is tomorrow, so we can expect more attacks in the next 24 hours. We are filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get to the bottom of the Afghanistan withdrawal itself. We are working ahead now, so that the ACLJ will be at the center for the aftermath of what is coming from the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the rocket attacks at Kabul airport.
Watch the full broadcast below.