Explosion Near Airport Was US Airstrike Against Multiple Suicide Attackers

AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon

We reported earlier on an explosion in a residential building near the Kabul airport.

Now, the U.S. is confirming that they conducted an airstrike against an ISIS-K vehicle which they say was carrying “multiple suicide bombers with explosive vests that were believed to be targeting Kabul’s international airport.”

From Fox:

The strike in a crowded neighborhood northwest of the airport set off “significant secondary explosions,” which indicated a “substantial amount of explosive material” inside the vehicle, Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command said in a statement. While the target was initially described as a vehicle-born improvised explosive device (IED), an official clarified that the explosives were being worn by multiple bombers, rather than planted on the vehicle itself. [….]

“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” Urban said. “We are confident we successfully hit the target.”

They used a drone from a military base in the Gulf.

In a real twist, it was the Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid who confirmed the story to journalists, saying that the attempted bomber/bombers were targeted as they drove near the airport.

It’s not clear who was hit in the attack. An Afghan police chief claimed a child was killed. The US military denies that any civilians were hit at this time. But it’s clearly a tightly packed residential area. So, if they did take out people who had explosives on them, it might have caused more damage than they intended.

This follows the Thursday suicide attack at the airport, allegedly by ISIS-k which killed 13 U.S. military members and at least 170 Afghans and the retaliatory strikes against alleged ISIS-K “planners” that killed two and wounded another person.

But good, if they got real suicide bombers on the way to the airport.

I guess the question I would have for this is how did they know enough to supposedly target these folks literally on their way to the airport with the explosives, when they didn’t know enough to know that the Taliban were going to take over or the city was going to fall? And will they provide more information on this?

After the prior retaliatory strike, they refused to provide the names of the two people they said they killed leading many to doubt that they got anyone consequential, as my colleague Becca Lower shared earlier.