According to the Pentagon and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, two bombing attacks in Kabul have claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members, including 10 U.S. Marines, and at least 60 Afghans. President Joe Biden addressed the nation about the attacks on Thursday evening — seemingly threatening the attackers and praising the fallen service members.
“We will not forgive,” President Biden said. “We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
CNN reports that the explosions occurred on Thursday outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport and at nearby Baron Hotel in Afghanistan. In addition to the accounted deaths, the explosions injured 18 U.S. service members and about 140 Afghans. In his address, Biden said the fallen service members are “heroes.”
“They’re a part of the bravest, most capable, most selfless military in the face of the Earth,” Biden said. “They’re a part of, simply what I call, the backbone of America. They’re the spine of America.”
This tragedy presented itself amid efforts by the United States to withdraw troops and personnel by August 31. More than 101,000 people have reportedly been evacuated from the war-torn county since the end of July.
Just last week, President Biden defended his decision to continue the withdrawal after the Taliban regained control of the country for the first time in 20 years. At the time, the president said that the Taliban was warned against attacking American personnel or disrupting withdrawal operations.
“I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country’s civil war, taking casualties, suffering life-shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss,” Biden said last week. “This is not in our national security interest. It is not what the American people want. It is not what our troops who have sacrificed so much over the past two decades deserve.”
According to CNN, ISIS in Khorasan (ISIS-K) has taken responsibility for the bombings, but they haven’t provided evidence to back up their claim. Nonetheless, Biden shared that he’s asked US military commanders “to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership and facilities.”
“These ISIS terrorists will not win,” Biden said. “We will rescue the Americans. We will get our Afghan allies out. And our mission will go on. America will not be intimidated.”
During the Q&A portion of the address, things seemingly took a tense turn as Biden responded to a reporter’s questions. Biden was seen burying his head into his hands in what appeared to be frustration. He’s also heard asking the reporter questions of his own.
Check out some the footage below:
View this post on Instagram
Want updates directly in your text inbox? Hit us up at 917-722-8057 or click here to join!