Taliban claims Kabul airport attack says target was US Defence Secy Mattis
29 September, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Ora Austin
America is pressing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners to increase their own troop levels in the country to help Afghan forces get the upper hand in the grinding battle against the Taliban and Islamic State.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
One witness tweeted: "Currently on lockdown at The Baron hotel in Kabul".
Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said one rocket stuck a home near the airport, wounding the five victims.
"U.S. forces acting in support conducted an airstrike", the US military said in a statement.
The airport said two missiles were fired toward the airport at around 11:00 a.m. local time, and the US embassy warns that the attack may still be ongoing.
"Resolute Support deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants", the statement said.
Mattis called the attack a crime during a later news conference.
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Promising a more "holistic" approach without fixed timetables and involving other countries in the region, including Pakistan, he said the Taliban would have to learn they could not defeat the government. USA forces acting in support conducted an airstrike. "So it is what it is, but it's also the reason why we band together, and we don't question what we're doing here".
"More US troops alongside additional allied contributions are making it clear we are not quitting this fight", said Mattis.
Near-term results expected are increased Indian investment into Afghanistan and expanded Afghan commercial ties with India. A statement by the Resolute Support mission provided no details on the number of insurgents or casualties.
As The New York Times notes, the occasion marks the first high-profile visit to the palace since President Donald Trump unveiled his new strategy for the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.
The visit comes as Afghanistan's security forces struggle to defeat the Taliban.
America was justified in invading Afghanistan after the Taliban refused to give up the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, but there is no justification whatsoever for an occupation that has lasted nearly two decades.
He said the insurgents mined the area around the base to prevent authorities from sending in reinforcements.
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