The attack on Kabul airport was devastating, with more than 100 deaths from the terrorist attack reported at the time of writing. Following the attack, the Taliban’s first weeks in de facto control of Afghanistan will always be remembered as a time of chaos, violence, and despair.
The menace of ISKP, the Islamic State’s affiliate in the country, was already well-known, and unusual behaviour from it in the run-up to the attack, coupled with intelligence reports of an impending threat, meant that many expected it to launch an attack. But the speed, scale and precision with which it struck will leave an indelible mark on the Taliban’s first days as a ruling party.
These latest scenes of civilian suffering in Afghanistan come on the back of two decades of brutal conflict, one aspect of which appeared to come to a precipitous end earlier this month when the Taliban took Kabul.