Biden vows to strike back against Kabul attackers: “We will hunt you down”
President Biden on Thursday vowed to “hunt down” ISIS-K members that the Pentagon said were responsible for a bombing that killed over 100, some at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, which stands as ground zero for the US in Afghanistan. Authorities are desperately evacuating service members and others from the country in an effort to put an end to the “forever war.”
“To those who carried out this attack: We will not forgive. We will not forget,” he said. “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Two explosions tore through crowds seeking evacuation as a part of the final push of a tumultuous US-led evacuation effort from the war-torn country, killing 13 U.S. service members and at least 90 Afghans, wounding dozens more.
The attack marked the deadliest day for the US Military in Afghanistan since 2011 and the most chaotic day of Biden’s presidency thus far. General Kenneth McKenzie said in a Pentagon press conference that the attacks came in the presence of two suicide bombings, one outside of the airport and a second at the Baron Hotel, which were followed by gunfire.
Biden held a moment of silence for the fallen troops and characterized them as heroes who embarked on a “dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others.” Biden’s tally of US service members who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he keeps in his breast pocket, will now include some who died during his administration.
“I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that has happened,” Biden said as he addressed the nation following the harrowing attack, promising that the evacuation mission would continue to its current end date, this coming Tuesday, August 31st. Defense secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley echoed his message.
“We can and we must complete this mission and we will,” Biden said. “That’s what I’ve ordered them to do. We will not be deterred by terrorists.”