WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Saturday warned that another terrorist attack on the Kabul airport was “highly likely” in the next 24-36 hours and vowed to issue another strike against the terrorists as a response.
The U.S. military is working to evacuate the few remaining Americans and Afghan allies, who are fleeing the country from the Taliban before Tuesday’s deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” Biden said in a statement. “Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”
The White House says there are around 350 Americans left in Afghanistan who want to leave but thousands of Afghans who aided the United States during the war still remain.
A suicide bomber attacked the Kabul airport on Thursday, killing 13 U.S. troops and injuring 14 while over 110 Afghans were killed. The United States responded by conducting a drone strike against ISIS-K, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State, who claimed credit for the bombing.
Biden promised to respond with another strike if ISIS-K or any other terrorist groups try to attack U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
“This strike was not the last,” Biden said. “We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay. Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby declined to go into details on Saturday about the drone strike but said it was enough to show the United States will not take these attacks laying down.
“They were ISIS-K planners and facilitators. That’s enough reason there alone,” Kirby told reporters. “I won’t speak to the details of these individuals or what their specific roles might be.”