On the morning of August 30, 2021, a salvo of at least six rockets fired at Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL) was intercepted by a Counter Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) weapon system deployed by the United States.
The US is racing against the clock to carry out the final evacuations, with its military presence is due to end on August 31, 2021, the next day.
“The President was informed that operations continue uninterrupted […] and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
As of the evening of August 29, 2021, 300 Americans remained to be evacuated from Afghanistan, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission, these last couple of days,” Blinken told ABC, adding that another attack on the airport was “very likely.”
In total, 114,400 people, including nearly 5,500 US citizens, have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the Taliban entered the capital on August 14, 2021.
A safe zone in Kabul?
France and the United Kingdom are expected to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council regarding the establishment of a “safe zone’ in Kabul that will allow humanitarian operations to continue.” The plan was revealed by French President Emmanuel Macron on August 29, 2021, as the last evacuation flight of the French Air Force was landing in Paris.
“This would provide a framework for the United Nations to act in an emergency, and it will above all make it possible to put everyone before their responsibilities and the international community to maintain pressure on the Taliban,” Macron explained.