A few hours after US Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport, rockets hit next to the facility
The location from which the rockets were fired is still unknown, according to Afghan Interior Ministry’s spokesman Najib Danish.
Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid took responsibility of the attack and said that Mattis’ plane was, indeed, the target. Fortunately, no one was injured.
All houses located close to the airport were searched as there were suspicions that the rockets might have been fired from one of them, Danish added.
Mattis’ visit on Wednesday was unannounced and was his first trip to the country since Donald Trump announced a new Afghan strategy in late August.
At a press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Stoltenberg, Mattis mentioned that he had just heard some press reports, and said that “an attack on an airport anywhere in the world is a criminal act by terrorist.”
He further added that “If, in fact, this is what they have done, they will find the Afghan Security Forces continuing on the offensive against them in every district of the country right now.”
Mattis met with Afghan President Ghani at the Presidential Palace and said it was “refreshing” to be there alongisde NATO’s leader.
“A lot is riding on this of course as we look toward how do we put an end to this fighting and the threat of terrorism to the Afghan people, to the international community and how do we put this into a path of political reconciliation,” he said.