President Joe Biden promised Thursday, August 26th, to complete the evacuations of American citizens and others from Afghanistan despite the occurrence of two explosions at the Kabul airport. He also vowed to avenge the deaths. Indicating to the extremists responsible: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Biden said the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate was to blame for the bombings that killed 12 American military members and several more Afghan civilians. He announced there was no evidence they conspired with the Taliban, who now control the country.
“We have some reason to believe we know who they are,” he said of the attackers involved. “Not certain.”
More than 1,000 Americans and many more Afghans are still striving to get out of Kabul.
Biden was notified of the attacks, killing dozens of Afghans. This came 12 days into the hastened evacuation (five days before its scheduled conclusion). A number of Republicans argued against extending the evacuation beyond next Tuesday’s deadline.
AFTER THE ATTACKS, the US general overseeing the evacuation, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said, “If we can find who is associated with this, we will go after them.” Despite the risks, he said it would be a mistake for the US to end the evacuation.
The administration has been blamed for a chaotic and dangerous evacuation. This began only after the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government and the Taliban’s takeover of the country. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated so far.
The bombings on Thursday will surely intensify political pressure from all sides for Biden. He is already under heavy criticism for not beginning the pullout earlier. In April, he had announced that he was ending the US war and would have all troops out by September.
General McKenzie said the military believes the attacks were carried out by fighters affiliated with the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan arm. He said more attacks are expected.
After the suicide bomber’s attack at Abbey Gate, several ISIS shooters opened fire on civilians and military forces. There also was an attack at or near the Baron Hotel near that gate.
The attacks won’t drive the US out earlier than scheduled, General McKenzie informed.
“Let me be clear, while we are saddened by the loss of life, both US and Afghan, we are continuing to execute the mission,” said General McKenzie.
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