The Taliban threw quite the welcome party for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis today apparently.
Reports are coming out of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul that the airport was hit with 6 missiles just as Mr. Mattis (together with NATO officials) is about to arrive to discuss troop deployment with the US commanders in the region.
A barrage of missiles hit the military section of the airport building just as Mr. Mattis was about to land at Kabul airport, becoming the first member of the current White House Administration to visit the country.
A witness held up in the nearby Baron hotel tweeted: "Currently on lockdown at The Baron hotel in Kabul. Rocket attacks from the mountain. God save us all.
Police were quick to seal off the exact location from where the rockets were fired.
The unexpected (and for security reasons unannounced visit) comes just as Afghanistan’s security forces seem to be under a great strain in the fight against the Taliban, which has been on the rise since the US-led NATO troops started their withdrawal in 2014.
Jim Mattis will be joined by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for his visit where he will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and several other officials to oversee the US-led NATO "train and assist" mission aimed at improving Afghanistan's military.
the official NATO Statement announcing the visit said: "Discussions will focus on the NATO-Afghanistan partnership, including the ongoing NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces."
For months now, US generals have called the situation in Afghanistan a stalemate in need of further support and troops. The US presence in the Afghanistan war will soon enter its sixteenth year as the White House presses it’s NATO allies to increase their own troop levels in the country.