THE US has blamed Britain for the Kabul airport bombing as leaked papers reportedly say gates were kept open to get UK evacuees out of Afghanistan.
A suicide bomber from the ISIS-K terror group slipped past guards and detonated a device that killed 170 Afghans fleeing the Taliban and 13 US troops guarding the airport.
The bodies of the Americans who died in the blast arrived back at Dover Air Force Base on Sunday, where they were received by President Joe Biden.
Leaked documents showing notes of phone calls obtained by Politico show that the US was warned of a possible “mass casualty event” at the airport.
Commanders in Kabul said the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was at the “highest risk”.
Rear Admiral Peter Vasely who led US forces in Afghanistan had planned to have Abbey Gate closed by Thursday afternoon.
But he said it was decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow the UK to withdraw personnel based at the nearby Baron Hotel.
This was based on Britain accelerating its plans – now completed – to withdraw ahead of US forces, who are leaving on August 31, reports Politico.
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US troops were still processing those trying to enter the airport at Abbey Gate at roughly 6 pm when the suicide bomber struck.
Die dood included 11 Marines who have have been identified as Rylee McCollum, Nicole Gee, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Humberto Sanchez, Hunter Lopez, Taylor Hoover, Daegan Page, Johanny Rosario Pichardo, and 20-year-old David Lee Espinoza.
A US Navy medic Max Soviak and US Army soldier named Ryan Knauss were also killed in the atrocity.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence would not be drawn on the leaked documents.
“Throughout Operation Pitting we have worked closely with the U.S. to ensure the safe evacuation of thousands of people,” a spokesperson told Politico.
“We send our deepest condolences to the families of the American victims of the senseless attacks in Kabul and continue to offer our full support to our closest ally.”
MASS CASUALTY WARNING
US forces have reportedly taken out several threats in the days since the attack.
As they forces prepared to finally withdraw, 20 years after they first entered Afghanistan, as many as six rockets fired at the Kabul airport were intercepted by US anti-missile system.
Op Sondag, a US drone strike blew up a vehicle that was reportedly carrying multiple suicide bombers in Kabul.
A car that was carrying several militants and “packed with explosives” was hit.
Family members say 10 mense, including seven children, were killed in the drone strike,
A strike carried out after the Thursday attack reportedly killed another ISIS-K facilitator and planner.