By Sharif Amiry
11 July 2021
Civil Aviation Authority says a new defense system has been activated at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The Taliban on Sunday announced its opposition to an agreement between the US and Turkey for the latter to take over security of Hamid Karzai International Airport, with a spokesman of the group saying that they are against the presence of any foreign troops after the given deadline for their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The US and coalition forces are expected to fully leave by August 31. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that an agreement has been reached over the post-withdrawal Kabul airport security.
“If they remain within the framework of NATO or Turkey or any other country, it will not be acceptable both for the people of Afghanistan and for the Taliban,” former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha said.
Erdogan announced the agreement on July 9.
“Our defense minister met with the US defense secretary, and we had a meeting with US and NATO to discuss the future of the Hamid Karzai International Airport,” Erdogan said on July 9. “We decided on what we accept in this respect and which conditions we don’t agree upon.”
The Afghan government welcomed the move. The Civil Aviation Authority on Sunday said that a new defense system has been activated at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“We welcome friendly countries for their cooperation in strengthening the capacity and management of the control of airports,” Defense Ministry’s spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said.
The new defense system at the Kabul airport has been established with the help of Afghanistan’s allies, a government spokesman said.
“Right now, our foreign allies are cooperating with us so that we can find the capacity to use the weapon (defense system),” said Gen. Ajmal Shinwari, a spokesman for the government forces.
Turkey has been helping in Hamid Karzai Airport’s security since 2013, officials said.
“It creates some type of concern–why are they trying to secure their route? For fleeing? On the other hand, it is a type of hope as it gives a feeling of the international community’s presence,” said retired general Zahir Azimi.