Joe Biden Vows To Make Kabul Airport Attackers 'Pay' As At Least 13 US Service Members, 60 Afghans Killed

Suicide bombers and gunmen were responsible for killing at least 13 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) and the city’s Baron Hotel, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

What Happened: The carnage reportedly took place after a warning from Western officials, which urged people to leave the airport, but this was largely unheeded by desperate Afghans thronging the airport in a bid to escape the country now overtaken by the Taliban.

The Islamic State took responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news channel, as per the Press.

President Joe Biden vowed the United States would hunt down those that carried out the attack on HKIA.

“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive," he said. "We will not forget.  We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

“I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” the president added.

Why It Matters: Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby issued a brief statement on the attack, acknowledging that U.S. Service members lost lives in the attack and “a number” is being treated for wounds.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured,” said Kirby.

The Taliban took the Afghan capital on Aug. 15, reported Reuters. The Taliban blitzkrieg resulted in a flurry of evacuations from the country with HKIA emerging as the sole point of escape.

Biden clarified in a White House statement that ISIS-K, an arch-enemy of the Taliban — had been planning a “complex set of attacks on the United States personnel and others.”

“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 the moment of our choosing,” said Biden.

The President said the evacuations were to continue. He said, “We will complete our mission.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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