National Security & Defense

Biden Says Another Terrorist Attack on Kabul Airport is ‘Highly Likely’ in Next 36 Hours

President Joe Biden delivers remarks about Afghanistan, from the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., August 26, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Biden said Saturday that the situation on the ground in Afghanistan continues to be “extremely dangerous” and that an attack on the Kabul airport is “highly likely” in the next 24-36 hours.

Biden’s statement comes after The Pentagon confirmed that two “high-profile” Islamic State leaders in Afghanistan were killed in a retaliatory drone strike carried out by U.S. military forces less than 48 hours after a suicide bombing by the group at the Kabul airport killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 American service members.

“I said we would go after the group responsible for the attack on our troops and innocent civilians in Kabul, and we have,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday. “This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.”

The president added that “despite the treacherous situation in Kabul,” the U.S. is continuing to evacuate citizens as the August 31 withdrawal deadline quickly approaches.

“Yesterday, we brought out another 6,800 people, including hundreds of Americans,” he said. “And today, we discussed the ongoing preparations to help people continue to leave Afghanistan after our military departs.”

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Colin Powell, R.I.P.

We had substantial disagreements but recognize that he will be remembered for a long, consequential career of service to a country that he loved.