In a solemn speech, with his voice broken at times, Joe Biden has appeared before the press after the double attack on Thursday outside the Kabul airport, which has left dozens dead and wounded, including several American soldiers. “To those who have carried out this attack and to all those who wish to harm the United States: we do not forgive, we do not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said. In addition, he added that he has ordered his military leadership to draw up plans to find and punish ISIS “leaders and facilities” in Afghanistan.
What will happen when the US leaves Kabul airport?
When asked by journalists about the possibility of sending more troops, the president said that if they were necessary, he would be willing to do so, but that after consulting with his military leadership he does not believe it is necessary. “It will not take major military operations to find the terrorists,” he said.
The president recalled that the threat of a terrorist attack by the so-called ISIS-K (or ISIS-J), the Afghan branch of the Islamic State, was a possibility of which the intelligence services were aware and that this is not going to change the US strategy in Afghanistan: “We are going to complete this mission. The terrorists are not going to prevent us from accomplishing this mission. We are going to continue the evacuation.” As for the Americans who are still in the country after Aug. 31, Biden has said they will keep trying to get them out of there.
This was the first time that the president has spoken publicly about the attack, the first deadly attack suffered by US troops in Afghanistan since February 2020.
The president had canceled his entire agenda scheduled for this Thursday, in which there was a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Benet, which has been postponed to Friday, and he has spent the day closely following the events in Afghanistan meeting with his advisers .
The attack occurred five days after the date set by Biden himself for the end of the evacuation mission and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, on August 31. The US believes that a suicide bomber from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group detonated a bomb at one of the entrances to Kabul airport, the so-called Abbey Gate, while another set off the explosives he was carrying near the Hotel Baron, located in the vicinity of the airfield, which was followed by an armed attack.
Health sources in Afghanistan have also reported the death of 60 Afghan civilians and that another 150 have been injured.