U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “The mission there being performed is dangerous and now has come with significant loss of American personnel. But it’s a worthy mission.”
Advisers to U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday told him the next few days of the evacuation mission from Afghanistan will be the most dangerous to date, after an attack in Kabul left scores dead, including 13 U.S. service members.
BIDEN: “I met with my commanders this morning, first thing in the morning, got a detailed briefing about yesterday’s attacks and the measures they’re taking to protect our forces and complete the mission. And we WILL complete the mission.”
The warnings came in a Situation Room meeting Biden held with national security, military and diplomatic officials following the Islamic State attack near the gates of the Kabul airport.
U.S. Army Major General William Taylor on Friday clarified that the attack was carried out by one suicide bomber, not two as earlier thought.
“We do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber [FLASH] and then followed by direct fire from an enemy position that is not exactly known, that was outside and what we call just north of that gate area.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday said another attack in Kabul is likely.
“We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time.”
Under Biden’s direction, the Pentagon is preparing to strike Islamic State militants in response to Thursday’s attack - or as White House press secretary Jen Psaki put it: "I think he made clear yesterday that he does not want them to live on the Earth anymore."