Biden guarantees to struggle again after 12 US troopers are killed in an assault in Kabul: NPR
President Biden spoke on Thursday about the terrorist attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan that killed US soldiers and Afghan civilians. Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption
Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images
Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images
President Biden delivered a message on Thursday evening to those who carried out the deadly attacks in front of the Kabul airport that killed 12 US soldiers: “You know that: we will not be forgiven. We won’t forget you pay. ”
Biden called the American soldiers who lost their lives “heroes” and “the best the country has to offer”.
“The lives we lost today were lives sacrificed in the service of freedom, security, the service of others, the service of America,” he said.
Biden said the situation on the ground in Kabul was still developing, saying the US would target the assets, leadership and facilities of ISIS-K, the terrorist group that took responsibility for the attack.
“We will react with force and precision, at our time, at the place of our choice and at the moment of our choice.”
Biden also defended relying on the Taliban to keep things safe outside of Kabul airport.
“We rely on them to act in their own best interests,” he said. “And it is in their interest that we leave when we have announced it. There is so far no evidence from our commanders in the field that there has been collusion between the Taliban and ISIS.”
More than 150 people were injured in two explosions, one in front of Hamid Karzai International Airport and the second at the nearby Baron Hotel.
At a press conference at the Pentagon, General Kenneth McKenzie said that 15 US soldiers were among the injured. An Afghan official told the Associated Press that at least 60 Afghans were killed and 143 injured in the attack outside Kabul airport.
He said the attacks were carried out by two suicide bombings followed by gunfire. A US official told The Associated Press that the attack was “definitely” carried out by the Islamic State group. Although McKenzie did not blame ISIS-K, he said, “The threat from ISIS-K is very real.”
McKenzie added the evacuation has now brought 104,000 people out of Afghanistan, including nearly 5,000 Americans. He estimates there are about 1,000 Americans left. August 31 – next Tuesday – is the government’s planned resignation.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed Thursday afternoon that “a number of US soldiers” were killed in the attacks.
“A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans have fallen victim to this heinous attack,” Kirby said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go with the relatives and teammates of all those killed and injured.”
This is the first US casualty in Afghanistan since February 2020, before the US and the Taliban signed an agreement in which the Taliban pledged not to attack American troops if the US withdraws.
The Taliban have condemned the attack in front of the airport and claim that the explosion area is controlled by the US
Biden has been criticized by members of both political parties for withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan.
But Biden has defended his administration’s actions.
“The idea that there is somehow a way to get out of chaos, I don’t know how that happens,” said Biden George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.