Monday, October 18, 2021

13 US service members killed in Afghanistan bombings; Biden promises retaliation

On August 26, thirteen US service members were killed in a terrorist bomb attack outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A preliminary report by Pentagon officials indicated that 11 marines and a naval doctor were among those killed; According to the Associated Press, another service member died hours later. At least 18 service members were injured and officials warned the toll could rise, the AP reported.

The deaths mark the first US military war-related deaths in Afghanistan since February 2020.

The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, bragging about a suicide bomber “managed to penetrate all the security fortifications” put up by the US military and the Taliban.

The ISIS terrorist “managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the US military, and then detonated their explosive belts,” the group said in a statement. It claimed that the attacker was able to get within five meters of US troops at the airport’s east gate. The Pentagon said another explosion occurred at a nearby hotel.

President Joe Biden said at the White House on August 26 that the United States would attack ISIS in retaliation for the bombings.

“To those who perpetrated this attack, as well as anyone who seeks to harm America, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and pay you. I will take every measure at my command.” I will defend my interests and my people,” Biden said in an address to the nation about the attack.

The president has instructed military officials to prepare a plan to attack ISIS facilities and fighters.

“We will respond with force and precision, at our own time, at the place we choose, at the moment of our choice,” he said.

“These ISIS terrorists will not win. America will not be intimidated.”

Biden said this about seven hours after the explosion at the US-held airport in Kabul. He and administration officials, to a brief briefing from a US general, went dark after the attack, prompting calls by some prominent Republicans to call for their resignations.

Biden described himself and First Lady Jill Biden as “outraged” and “heartbroken” for the loss, adding that his hearts ache for the families who have lost loved ones.

He described how his late son, Beau Biden, died of cancer after serving in the military, saying that the loss feels “like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. “

‘deepest condolences’

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his “deepest condolences” to the loved ones and teammates of those killed and injured in Kabul in a statement.

“The terrorists took their own lives when these soldiers were trying to save the lives of others. We mourn their loss. We will heal their wounds. And we will support their families in what will surely be a devastating grief. But we will not be distracted by the task at hand,” he said. “To do anything less – especially now – would be an insult to the purpose and sacrifices these men and women have made to our country and the people of Afghanistan.”

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The bombing took place at or near Abbey Gate, which is located on the eastern side of the airport, late on 26 August local time. A bomb went off at the gate before at least one more detonated near the Barron Hotel, a short distance from the gate.

Photos showed wounded and bloodied people, with dozens of Afghans wounded or killed.

The total number of casualties was not immediately known.

the world watches

Other world leaders warned that the situation at the airport was dangerous and unstable, with the United States only days to withdraw the rest of its troops.

“The next hours will be extremely dangerous in Kabul and at the airport,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters while visiting Ireland.

ISIS published a photo of a man it claimed to have carried out one of the suicide bombings and described the blasts as targeting US forces and their “spies”.

It also threatened additional attacks.

While the exact circumstances of the attack are being investigated, the initial understanding of the initial explosion is a suicide bomber who went to the gate before triggering the bomb.

US troops are in a position to check people at the gates trying to pass through. Investigations include the investigation of bombs or other weapons.

“There is no substitute for a young man or woman, a young United States man or woman, standing there searching for that person before we let them go,” McKenzie said.

Before the first bombing took place, 104,000 people were let through the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport. Many of them were Afghans fleeing the country after aiding American troops during the decades-long war.

The Taliban are investigating people before letting them go, but sometimes those searches are not complete.

When the Taliban took over the country, the United States began controlling the airport. It is the only area the US military has controlled prior to the planned withdrawal on August 31.

“Right now, our focus is really moving to make sure there isn’t another attack of this nature, because as you know the pattern is usually multiple attacks,” McKenzie said.

The Taliban, which occupied Afghanistan in mid-July, was collaborating with US troops to conduct a massive evacuation of the country. There is no indication that the Taliban was involved in the attack or allowed it to happen, Biden said, echoing comments from the head of US Central Command, General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie.

At the end of 26 August there were fresh explosions at Kabul airport. A Taliban spokesman said the blast was carried out by US forces “to destroy their equipment”, fearing that Americans could withdraw before the August 31 deadline set by Biden.

But the president said the plan is to stick to the deadline so far.

People still need help fleeing the country, including Americans, with the president saying: “The military has concluded that this is what we should do. I think they are right. I think they are right.”

Zachary Steber contributed to this report

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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