From Kyodo: US airstrikes on Kabul possible midnight Sun : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

U.S. air strikes on Kabul possible midnight Sun.

JABAL-US-SARAJ, Afghanistan, Oct 07, 2001 (Kyodo via COMTEX) -- U.S. air strikes on the Afghan capital Kabul in retaliation against the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States may take place midnight Sunday, sources at the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance said Sunday.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, foreign minister of the Northern Alliance, said in Jabal-us-Saraj, about 60 kilometers north of Kabul, that U.S. air strikes against the Taliban may take place "very soon."

He also said that ground troops of the U.S. military's special forces may be deployed a few days after the air strikes. At a press conference Sunday, Abdullah suggested the air strikes will occur at a location "within sight," apparently indicating Kabul, as well as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan and Herat in western Afghanistan. Abdullah called on residents in Kabul to keep away from military facilities.

As a safety measure, the Northern Alliance decided at 5 p.m. Saturday to suspend flights carrying supplies including those from the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe for a few days, he said. Abdullah also said that the Northern Alliance held a meeting with military authorities in charge of areas close to Kabul earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the first group of U.S. transport planes carrying about 1,000 U.S. soldiers earlier arrived Sunday in Termez, an Uzbekistan border town near Afghanistan. The deployment of the troops from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division is the first dispatch of U.S. ground troops ever to a former Soviet republic.

The division is also the first group of ground troops the U.S. has sent to the Afghanistan vicinity since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which left some 6,000 people dead or missing.

Following reports of 1,000 U.S. troops arriving in the former Soviet republic, Afghanistan's Taliban authorities deployed an additional 8,000 militia along the country's northern border with Uzbekistan. Earlier Sunday, six Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) transport planes headed for Pakistan from Manila to airlift relief supplies to refugees from neighboring Afghanistan.

The six C-130 planes, which left the ASDF's Naha base in Okinawa Prefecture Saturday with some 150 ASDF and Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) personnel on board, are scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Tuesday. In Washington on Saturday, U.S. President George W. Bush suggested U.S. attacks on Afghanistan's Taliban may be close at hand, saying, "Time is running out."

The U.S. has threatened strikes against the Taliban if they fail to promptly hand over Osama bin Laden, an Islamic militant and suspected terrorism mastermind whom the Taliban are believed to be sheltering, and members of his al-Qaida organization.


2001 Kyodo News (c) Established 1945

-- Swissrose (, October 07, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ