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The U.S. and its allies are due to end their military mission in Afghanistan at the end of next month. Turkey has promised to provide security for Kabul airport once the U.S. and NATO troops leave the country.
“The newly installed air defence system has been operational in Kabul since 2:00 am Sunday,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement. “The system has proven useful in the world in repelling rocket and missile attacks.” Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP it had been installed at the airport. However, officials did not offer details about the type of system or who had installed it. Afghan security forces spokesman Ajmal Omar Shinwari said the system was given by “our foreign friends”.
Taliban’s rapid gains in recent weeks have raised fears about the security of the capital and its airport, with NATO keen to secure a vital exit route to the outside world for foreign diplomats and aid workers.
Last week Russia announced it had closed its consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. At the same time, China also evacuated 210 nationals from the country.
Pakistan’s envoy to Kabul called on the international community to help strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces, warning that deploying militia to fight the Taliban could worsen the situation in the violence-wracked country.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and the United States had agreed on the “scope” of how the airport would be managed under the control of Turkish forces.
Over the years, the U.S. military installed several C-RAMs (Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar Systems) across its bases, including at Bagram, to destroy incoming rockets targeting the facilities, a foreign security official, and media reports said. The C-RAMS includes cameras to detect incoming rockets and alert forces deployed in the city.