U.S. officers once more warned Americans to go away the Kabul airport space instantly due to a safety menace, hours after President Biden mentioned that one other terrorist assault there was “highly likely” within the coming days.
Early Sunday morning in Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Americans of a “specific, credible threat.” State Department officers have issued a number of related warnings in current days.
On Saturday, President Biden promised that Friday’s U.S. retaliatory strike for Thursday’s suicide assault wouldn’t be the final.
The warnings have been one more signal of the chaotic and harmful state of affairs because the U.S. tried to drag the final remaining Americans and Afghans out of a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan earlier than the Tuesday deadline.
A suicide assault claimed by Islamic State militants that killed scores of individuals exterior the Kabul airport this week has introduced additional anguish to the nation and hindered evacuation efforts.
In an announcement, Mr. Biden mentioned one other assault was “highly likely” within the subsequent 24 to 36 hours. He added that he had directed the U.S. army to “protect our men and women on the ground.”
He additionally mentioned that Friday’s retaliatory strike, which killed two ISIS militants, “was not the last.”
“We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,” he mentioned in an announcement. “Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt.”
Many nations have been pulling their troops out of Afghanistan. France ended its efforts on Friday, and Britain’s evacuation of its residents was ending on Saturday, Nick Carter, the chief of the protection employees, instructed the BBC’s Radio 4.
“We haven’t been able to bring everybody out, and that has been heartbreaking,” Gen. Carter instructed the BBC. “There have been some very challenging judgments that have had to be made on the ground.”
The U.S. State Department mentioned Saturday that about 350 Americans have been nonetheless awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan. Another 280 individuals who “self-identified” as Americans don’t intend to go away or “have not informed us of their plans,” an announcement mentioned. The United States has repeatedly warned Americans to avoid the airport due to the specter of assault.
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Here’s extra on their origin story and their file as rulers.
With three days remaining earlier than President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops, the mission is shifting from airlifting individuals in Afghanistan to bringing dwelling American army personnel.
A Pentagon official mentioned about 2,000 individuals had been evacuated from the Kabul airport throughout a 12-hour interval on Saturday, bringing the entire to 113,500 because the operation started on Aug. 14. Evacuations had slowed since early Thursday, earlier than the suicide assault, when White House officers mentioned 13,400 individuals had been airlifted within the earlier 24 hours.
Hundreds of 1000’s of Afghans are nonetheless considered looking for to flee the nation, but Mr. Biden and different world leaders have acknowledged that many is not going to get out earlier than the deadline.
There have been indicators on Saturday that the evacuation effort on the airport was slowing.
Roads resulting in the airport have been closed, and the big crowds that had strained in current days to push inside had dissipated within the aftermath of the bombing, which struck as U.S. troops have been screening individuals making an attempt to enter.
Most gates have been closed Saturday, and few individuals have been getting via. At the airport’s South Gate, which remained open Saturday, buses carrying tons of of individuals lined up, their processing slowed by the shut screening for explosives.
Thursday’s assault was one of many deadliest within the almost 20 years because the U.S.-led invasion, killing 13 American service members and as many as 170 civilians.