Carter Visits Herat Consulate, Praises Defeat of Attackers
By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 14, 2013 On the second day of his trip to Afghanistan to assess the progress of the retrograde, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the U.S. Consulate in Herat, which was attacked yesterday morning.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses service members as he surveys the damage to the U.S. Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, Sept. 14, 2013. A day earlier, troops fought off a Taliban attack. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Following a stop at Camp Leatherneck for a briefing by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Lee Miller, commander of Regional Command Southwest, Miller and Carter flew to Herat aboard a V-22 Osprey.
Two Afghan police officers and a security guard were killed in a complex early morning assault that involved armed Taliban fighters and a vehicle bomb. About 20 people were injured and the consulate building was damaged, and all seven of the Taliban attackers were killed.
“Now, the individuals that attacked here yesterday did what they did because they wanted to get headlines,” Carter told the U.S., Afghan and coalition forces at Herat. But they didn’t get the headlines they expected, the deputy defense secretary added.
“The headline they’re getting is that they were defeated,” he said. “They were defeated in just a few minutes. And not only were they defeated, but there was an overwhelming and incredibly confident American, Afghan and coalition response … ready to deal with the situation.”
Carter told the troops that he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were incredibly impressed with their efforts. “You should be very proud,” he added.
After a brief stop at the Shindand air base, where Afghan air force pilots and aircraft maintainers are trained, Carter returned to Kabul for meetings with Afghan Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi and Interior Minister Umar Daudzai.