Trump says Afghanistan soldiers will do the fighting.
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The Taliban and the Islamic State both claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul’s international airport Wednesday. The Taliban said the target was Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who is making an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, local broadcaster TOLOnews reported.
Shortly afterward, ISIS claimed responsibility through its Amaq news agency.
Missiles hit the Hamid Karzai International Airport hours after Mattis and Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, arrived in Kabul for talks with Afghan officials and to meet U.S. forces, according to TOLOnews.
“At 11.36 am two missiles were fired on Kabul International Airport from Deh Sabz district, damaging the air force hangers and destroying one helicopter and damaging three other helicopters, but there were no casualties,” said Kabul airport chief Yaqub Rassouli, according to media reports.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said the attack started at about 11:00 a.m. local time, may still be happening and that the airport was closed.
“The Embassy urges all U.S. citizens to avoid the area, until authorities have deemed it secure,” it said in a statement.
Last month, President Trump announced a new strategy for Afghanistan, committing to “fight to win” in the nearly 16-year-long conflict and clearing the path for thousands more U.S. troops.
He said he was lifting restrictions on commanders in the field imposed by the Obama administration and increasing pressure on Pakistan to stop providing a safe haven to militant groups along its border.