A managed detonation by American forces that was heard all through Kabul has destroyed Eagle Base, the ultimate C.I.A. outpost outdoors the Kabul airport, U.S. officers mentioned on Friday.
Blowing up the bottom was supposed to make sure that any tools or info left behind wouldn’t fall into the fingers of the Taliban.
Eagle Base, first began early within the struggle at a former brick manufacturing facility, had been used all through the battle. It grew from a small outpost to a sprawling middle that was used to coach the counterterrorism forces of Afghanistan’s intelligence companies.
These forces have been a number of the solely ones to maintain combating as the federal government collapsed, in line with present and former officers.
“They have been an distinctive unit,” mentioned Mick Mulroy, a former C.I.A. officer who served in Afghanistan. “They have been one of many major means the Afghan authorities has used to maintain the Taliban at bay during the last 20 years. They have been the final ones combating, and so they took heavy casualties.”
Native Afghans knew little in regards to the base. The compound was extraordinarily safe and designed to be all however inconceivable to penetrate. Partitions reaching 10 toes excessive surrounded the location, and a thick steel gate slid open and shut shortly to permit automobiles inside.
As soon as inside, automobiles nonetheless needed to clear three outer safety checkpoints the place the automobiles can be searched and paperwork can be screened earlier than being allowed inside the bottom.
Within the early years of the struggle, a junior C.I.A. officer was put in command of the Salt Pit, a detention site near Eagle Base. There the officer ordered a prisoner, Gul Rahman, stripped of his clothes and shackled to a wall. He died of hypothermia. A C.I.A. board really helpful disciplinary motion however was overruled.
A former C.I.A. contractor mentioned that leveling the bottom would have been no simple process. Along with burning paperwork and crushing onerous drives, delicate tools wanted to be destroyed so it didn’t fall into the fingers of the Taliban. Eagle Base, the previous contractor mentioned, was not like an embassy the place paperwork may very well be shortly burned.
The bottom’s destruction had been deliberate and was not associated to the large explosion on the airport that killed an estimated 170 Afghans and 13 American service members. However the detonation, hours after the airport assault, alarmed many individuals in Kabul, who feared that it was one other terrorist bombing.
The official American mission in Afghanistan to evacuate U.S. residents and Afghan allies is ready to finish subsequent Tuesday. The Taliban have mentioned that the evacuation effort should not be extended, and Biden administration officers say that persevering with previous that date would considerably improve the dangers to each Afghans and U.S. troops.