On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis was the reported target of a failed missile attack perpetrated by radical Islamic terror insurgents working with the Taliban, according to CNN.
Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, where Mattis originally landed, came under missile fire from the Taliban hours after the Defense Secretary and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had departed from the location. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the reported attack on social media.
According to Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish, the missiles were fired from an unknown location and no one was injured in the attempted assassination. He emphasized that the Afghan authorities were going door-to-door investigating possible locations from where the attack could have originated.
While the Afghan government has not revealed further information, a U.S. military official told CNN that up to 40 rounds of munitions hit the airport with over two dozen being rocket-propelled grenades.
U.S. Central Command released a statement regarding the incident:
During a failed attack today, insurgents fired several rounds of high-explosive ammunition, including mortars, into the vicinity of Hamid Karzai International Airport and detonated suicide vests endangering a great number of civilians.
The Afghan Crisis Response Unit 222 responded quickly to confront the attackers and end the assault. U.S. forces acting in support conducted an airstrike. Tragically, one of the missiles malfunctioned, causing several casualties.
Resolute Support deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants. We take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties, even as the enemies of Afghanistan continue to operate in locations that deliberately put civilians at very high risk.
An investigation into the attack and the malfunctioning ammunition has begun. More details about the attack will be made available in the days to follow.
Mattis said at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that he had only heard about the attack in the media. He explained, “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.”