Five rockets were launched towards Kabul’s international airport, but were intercepted by a missile defence system, according to a US official, as the US prepares to remove its forces completely from the city.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the missiles were launched early Monday morning in Kabul time, but it was unclear if all of them were intercepted by the defensive system. According to the official, initial reports did not suggest any US casualties, but that information may change.
American troops conducted a drone strike in Kabul earlier on Sunday, targeting a suicide bomber in a car who was planning an attack on the airport.
As US forces rush to evacuate surviving American citizens and at-risk Afghans before completing their own departure by August 31, there is growing fear that Daesh may launch further attacks on the airport.
Officials had previously warned that Daesh terrorists were planning a rocket attack on the airport. However, the US has combat experience with such missiles, mainly in Iraq, and has already deployed missile defence systems.
“We know that they would like to lob a rocket in there, if they could,” General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, told reporters in Washington last week.
“Now we actually have pretty good protection against that. We have our anti-rocket and mortar system,” McKenzie said.
Following a suicide bomb attack on Thursday that killed dozens of Afghans and 13 US military personnel, there is increased worry about suicide bombers and vehicle bombs targeting the airport.
US President Joe Biden stated on Saturday that the situation on the ground remained extremely dangerous, and that his military commanders had warned him that another terrorist attack was highly probable within the next 24-36 hours.