“The situation at the scene remains extremely dangerous and the threat of a terrorist attack at the airport remains high,” the US president wrote in a statement after meeting with his military and security advisers. “Our commanders informed me that an attack was very likely in the next 24 to 36 hours,” he added.
As confirmed by the Pentagon, the remains of 13 US soldiers killed in a suicide attack carried out last Thursday by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group, known as ISIS-K, are already in flight to the United States. His trip marks a painful moment in a nearly 20-year American war that cost more than 2,400 American military lives and is ending with the return to power of a Taliban movement that was toppled when American forces invaded in October 2001.
The president made these statements after meeting with his national security team, made up of generals and members of his government. He explained that he has asked senior military officials in Afghanistan to take “all necessary measures” to protect the soldiers as they continue their mission to evacuate US citizens and Afghan collaborators before the final withdrawal, set for August 31. About, He promised that the US will continue with its evacuation mission despite the “treacherous” situation in Afghanistan.
“The 13 service members we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others. Their courage and self-denial have allowed more than 117,000 people in danger to be safe so far. May God protect our troops and all those who stand guard in these dangerous days, “the US president said in the statement.
This Saturday, in addition, the Pentagon released the names of the 13 dead: 11 Marines, a Navy sailor and an Army soldier. Twelve of them were 20 years old; some were born in 2001, the year America’s longest war began. The oldest was 31 years old. The 13 victims are the first American service members killed in Afghanistan since February 2020, the month the Trump administration struck a deal with the Taliban in which the militant group halted attacks on Americans in exchange for a settlement of United States to withdraw all troops and contractors by May 2021.
According to the information available so far, an ISIS-K suicide bomber detonated the explosives at the gate of the Kabul airport, where US troops were searching evacuees who were rushing to leave the country. At least 18 other soldiers were injured in the attack that killed at least 170 people and all 13 US service members. The attack was the deadliest against US forces in Afghanistan since August 2011, when militants shot down a Chinook helicopter, killing 30 US soldiers on board.
CIn retaliation, the United States last night carried out a drone strike in Afghanistan in which it killed two “high-profile” militants of the Islamic State.. Major General Hank Taylor, a senior US military official, described those killed as “facilitators” and “planners,” but declined to say whether they were involved in the attack.
Last Thursday, just after the attack, Biden had promised revenge against the perpetrators, who he assured that he would persecute them and make them pay for the attacks. Today, the president said that he had kept his promise and announced that the recent attack against ISIS-K targets “will not be the last.”
“We will continue to hunt down anyone involved in that heinous attack and we will make them pay for it. We will respond whenever someone tries to harm America or attack our troops. That is something that should never be in doubt, “he said.
The Islamic State affiliate that claimed responsibility for Thursday’s terror attack is known as the Islamic State of Khorasan (as the jihadists refer to Afghanistan). It was created in 2015 and is a staunch enemy of both the US and the Taliban.