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Biden is vowing to complete Afghanistan evacuation, hunt down ISIS leaders after the Kabul attack

Biden is vowing to complete Afghanistan evacuation

August 30, 2021: -On Thursday, President Joe Biden vowed to complete the evacuation of Americans and their allies from Afghanistan after a deadly terror attack near Kabul’s airport took the lives of more than a dozen U.S. service members and many Afghans.

“Terrorists will not deter us. We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation,” Biden said from the White House. “We will rescue Americans, we will get our Afghan allies, and the mission will go on. America will not be intimidated.”

The U.S. has about 5,400 military personnel assisting with the emergency evacuation efforts in Kabul.

On Thursday, U.S. Central Command confirmed that the death toll had risen to 13 U.S. service members and 18 wounded after two suicide bombers detonated explosives.

U.S. Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said several Afghan civilians were also killed in the blast. Still, he was not able to provide a precise number. He added that the current U.S. military assessment is that the bombers were ISIS fighters.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The president addressed those responsible for the attack, saying, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

“I’ll defend our interests and our people with every measure in my command,” Biden said.

“I’ve also ordered my commanders to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership, and facilities. We will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose, and at the moment of our choosing,” he said, indicating that the U.S. had leads on the ISIS leaders who ordered the attack.

“We have some reason to believe we know who they are,” Biden said, though he noted that the U.S. was not sure. “And we will find ways for our choosing, without large military operations, to get them, wherever they are.”

On Tuesday, the president had warned that staying longer than planned in Afghanistan carried severe risks for foreign troops and civilians. He has said that ISIS-K, the Afghanistan-based affiliate of the terror group, presented a growing threat to the airport.

“I’ve repeatedly said this mission was hazardous, and that’s why I’ve been so determined to limit the duration of this mission,” Biden reiterated on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, the president told leaders of the G-7, NATO, United Nations, and European Union that the United States would withdraw its military from Afghanistan by the end of the month.

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