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Rockets fired at Kabul airport as U.S. withdrawal date looms

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Jessica Smith joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the ongoing efforts of the U.S. to evacuate from Afghanistan, and the ongoing turmoil within the country as conflict with Isis-K heats up.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, switching gears. The US is still on track to exit Afghanistan per orders from President Joe Biden on Tuesday. The situation on the ground remains very volatile right now. Yahoo Finance Washington correspondent Jessica Smith is here with the latest. Jessica?

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Brian. US officials have stressed just how dangerous the last few days here will be. And we've seen evidence of that over the past week or so. Just this morning, the US shot down several rockets aimed at the airport in Kabul. At this point, there are not believed to be any casualties, and the White House said operations at the airport will continue.

ISIS-K has claimed responsibility according to the Associated Press. That's the same group behind the suicide bombing last week that killed more than 150 Afghans and 13 US service members. On Saturday, President Biden had warned that there would likely be another attack. And then yesterday, the US says it launched another drone strike, blowing up a vehicle full of explosives before bombers could attack the airport in Kabul.

According to US officials, there is reporting that several civilians were killed, including young children. Defense officials have said that they're investigating what happened, that the explosives in the vehicle could have caused additional casualties. A spokesperson said they would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.

The Pentagon does have a press briefing later this morning so we'll be looking for more details about that. The US, as you mentioned, is working to evacuate the remaining people in Afghanistan ahead of tomorrow's deadline. The White House says roughly 1,200 people were evacuated in the past day or so.

And yesterday, administration officials have said that there were about 300 Americans still in the country. And the US has the capacity to get them out, but it remains to be seen if that will actually happen, if Americans will be able to get to the airport. And, of course, there are still Afghan allies and others who are hoping to leave the country.

But the reality is that there are probably going to be some of them that are not able to make this out-- make it out. Guys.

BRIAN SOZZI: And Jess, what's the plan for those people who don't make it out by tomorrow's deadline?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, the Biden administration says that they will continue to work to facilitate safe passage for these people. But it's not clear how that is actually going to work without troops on the ground, without the military presence. The administration says that they believe they have leverage over the Taliban to pressure them to allow people to get out safely. But there are many, many people who are skeptical about how that would actually work.

And, of course, there are so many people who are there in the country who are fearful for their lives. Again, we are expecting to hear from the-- expecting to hear from the Pentagon later this morning. And then the White House as well. So maybe we'll get some more answers to these questions in the hours ahead.

BRIAN SOZZI: Jessica Smith, thanks so much.