- BBC News World
“We will not forget it, we will not forgive it, we will go after them and make them pay for this.”
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, responded in this way to the suicide attack perpetrated this Thursday against the Kabul airport in the middle of the evacuation of thousands of people from Afghanistan after the return of the Taliban to power.
At least 60 people died, an Afghan health official confirmed to the BBC. Among those killed are 13 US military personnel, the Pentagon reported.
It’s about the attack with more casualties for US troops in Afghanistan since 2011.
The US attributed the attack to the EI-K group (ISIS-K, for its acronym in English), an Afghan affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State responsible for some of the most egregious attacks in the country and enemies of the Taliban.
The group itself claimed responsibility for the attack in a message posted on Telegram.
In a visibly emotional speech to the nation, Biden referred to the dead soldiers as “heroes engaged in a life-saving mission.”
In retaliation for the attack, the president announced that he has asked the heads of the Armed Forces of his country to develop “operational plans to attack the assets, leaders and ISIS-K facilities “.
Biden said he wants to have those plans ready to go whenever he deems necessary.
“The US will respond with force and precision at the right time, in the place we choose, at the time we choose (…) I will defend our interests and our people with everything that is under my command,” he warned.
“I have instructed the military that, if you need additional forces, I will approve “He said, although he clarified that they have not requested it so far.
No change in evacuation
Despite the attack on Thursday, Biden reiterated his intention to complete the evacuation of people from Afghanistan.
“We can and must complete this mission. Terrorists will not intimidate us. We will continue with the evacuation. “
“These IS terrorists will not win,” he added.
Questioned by journalists, the president was equally firm in the decision to withdraw US troops from the country.
“The time has come to end a 20-year war,” he concluded.
Thousands of people have gathered in recent days near the airport seeking to leave the country before August 31, the date on which the deadline for the definitive withdrawal of US troops expires after two decades of presence in the country.
Prior to Thursday’s attack, both the United States and the United Kingdom had raised the alert level in the airport after ensuring that they had received reports of a possible attack associated with the Islamic State, a rival group of the Taliban.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.