US President Joe Biden has said he will meet the Afghanistan withdrawal schedule, despite attacks that left at least 72 people dead around Kabul airport on Thursday (26). He named ISIS’s Afghan wing ISIS as suspected of committing the attack and pledged revenge.
“We will not forgive, let us not forget. We will hunt them down and we will make them pay,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. “Americans will not be intimidated.”
Biden praised the heroism of the deceased US military and said he understood the pain of their families. The president lost his son Beau, who served in Iraq and suffered from brain cancer after returning to the United States. “Jill and I had a similar idea of how families must feel today, like there is a black hole in their chest.”
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosions, which occurred during the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan on Thursday (26). There have been at least 60 Afghan deaths. The U.S. government said 12 U.S. servicemen were killed and 15 wounded, which Reuters said could represent one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. forces in a 20-year war.
This is the first US military assassination in Afghanistan since February 2020.
A Taliban spokesperson posted a statement on Twitter in which he said he “strongly condemns” the attack, “which took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security.” The group also said that “it pays great attention to the safety and protection of its people.”
Prior to Biden’s speech, the head of the US military command, General Kenneth McKenzie, had promised revenge. “We are working very hard to determine the perpetrator, who is associated with this cowardly attack and ready to act against them. We’re looking for them 24/7, ”he said.
In previous speeches, the president had said that the country would continue to fight terrorism but would bet more on one-off actions than on long-term occupations, and had said that operations like this could be carried out in Afghanistan if necessary. .
The Democrat is criticized for the way in which the American withdrawal from the country is carried out. On August 15, the US-backed Afghan government was overthrown by the fundamentalist Taliban group. After that, Kabul airport saw scenes of chaos, with people storming the airport runway trying to board departing planes, including young people who fell from the train. landing of a freighter on take-off.
With five days before the deadline, the United States does not know how many people will still need to be evacuated.
Biden had said no one would be left behind and that he could extend the August 31 deadline if necessary. After threats from the Taliban and the allegation of risk of attacks by the terrorist group Islamic State, the Democrat however maintained the delay with the use of around 6,000 soldiers still in the capital.
This week, the British, Germans and French pushed to extend the deadline, but the Taliban were adamant. The Islamic fundamentalist group has said it will allow Afghans who consider themselves at risk and Westerners who have passed the August 31 deadline to leave the Asian country to do so later via commercial flights – which has failed has taken place since the group took control of Kabul.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would support anyone who needs help to leave later. According to him, 88,000 civilians have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the night of August 14, the day before the fall of Kabul, mainly by means of American military flights.
Biden postponed until Friday (27) a meeting he would have with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is visiting the United States.