President Joe Biden on Saturday afternoon said that more attacks like Thursday’s two suicide bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport and the nearby Baron Hotel are possible – even likely – as the United States continues its evacuation of American troops and Afghan nationals.
“This morning, I met with my national security team in Washington and my commanders in the field. We discussed the strike that U.S. forces took last night against the terrorist group ISIS-K in Afghanistan. I said we would go after the group responsible for the attack on our troops and innocent civilians in Kabul, and we have. This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay. Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt. I thanked General McKenzie for his leadership of that mission, and for his commitment to the safety of our troops in Afghanistan,” said Biden.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” he cautioned. “Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours. I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources, and plans to protect our men and women on the ground. They assured me that they did and that they could take these measures while completing the mission and safely retrograding our personnel.”
On Friday night, Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that American forces conducted a drone strike in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan that killed one of the ISIS-K leaders who was believed to be responsible for Thursday’s grisly attacks. No civilian casualties were reported.
CENTCOM: "U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we
killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties."
— Meredith Lee (@meredithllee) August 28, 2021
Similar operations can be expected to occur in the coming days.
“Despite the treacherous situation in Kabul, we are continuing to evacuate civilians. Yesterday, we brought out another 6,800 people, including hundreds of Americans. And today, we discussed the ongoing preparations to help people continue to leave Afghanistan after our military departs,” said Biden. “The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others. Their bravery and selflessness have enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far. May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.