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Biden condemns ‘vicious’ ISIS assaults in Kabul: ‘We are going to hunt you down and make you pay’

President Biden pledged to take motion towards ISIS-Okay militants and full evacuation operations on Thursday in his first public remarks since a pair of lethal suicide bombings focused U.S. forces and evacuees at Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan.

Biden expressed condolences for these affected by the lethal assaults and mentioned he was in “fixed contact with army leaders” on the bottom. He mentioned ongoing operations to evacuate Individuals and Afghan allies “is not going to be deterred by terrorists.”

“For those who carried out this assault in addition to anybody who needs America hurt, know this: We is not going to forgive. We is not going to neglect,” Biden mentioned. “We are going to hunt you down and make you pay. I’ll defend our pursuits and our folks with each measure at my command.”

At the least 12 U.S. service members have been killed Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated a tool outdoors Abbey Gate at Kabul’s airport. A second assault passed off on the Baron Lodge, the place Individuals in search of to evacuate Afghanistan have gathered. ISIS militants additionally opened hearth on the airport.

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The speech marked Biden’s first remarks on the lethal assault for the reason that Pentagon confirmed it occurred earlier this morning. Prime Biden administration and army officers had warned for days of a heightened threat of terror assaults from ISIS-Okay and different teams. About 5,200 U.S. troops are nonetheless lively in Kabul.

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, mentioned ISIS-Okay, an area affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group, was answerable for the assaults. ISIS-Okay additionally took accountability for the assaults.

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McKenzie added that the specter of extra assaults remained excessive and U.S. forces have been “ready to take motion” towards ISIS-Okay militants.

Smoke rises from explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The explosion went off outside Kabul’s airport, where thousands of people have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Officials offered no casualty count, but a witness said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded Thursday. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Smoke rises from explosion outdoors the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The explosion went off outdoors Kabul’s airport, the place 1000’s of individuals have flocked as they attempt to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Officers supplied no casualty depend, however a witness mentioned a number of folks appeared to have been killed or wounded Thursday. (AP Picture/Wali Sabawoon) (AP Picture/Wali Sabawoon)

Biden cited potential violence towards U.S. forces as a key think about his determination to take care of an Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal, warning earlier this week that “every day of operations brings added threat to our troops.” The president additionally directed the Pentagon and State Division to craft “contingency plans” ought to an extension change into vital.

Lawmakers on each side of the aisle are pressuring Biden to not withdraw till evacuations have been full.

Hamid Karzai International Airport

Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport (Google Maps)

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s dealing with of the withdrawal, described the assault as “sickening and enraging.”

“Individuals’ hearts are breaking for our service members and diplomats,” McConnell mentioned in an announcement. “They’re doing heroic work to rescue Americans and Afghan companions within the predictably chaotic wake of the President’s determination to withdraw. I’m praying for the households of those fallen Individuals, for his or her injured comrades, and for all our personnel in hurt’s approach.”

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The assault occurred as U.S. officers scramble to evacuate Individuals and at-risk Afghan allies. The State Division mentioned it has evacuated about 500 of the 1,500 U.S. residents believed to nonetheless be in Afghanistan since Wednesday.

McKenzie mentioned evacuation operations proceed following the bombing. He famous that U.S. plane flying out and in of Kabul’s airport have been being focused by gunfire “now and again.”

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