Reporter: “Have U.S. troops begun retrograde withdraw from the airport?”
Kirby: “We have begun retrograding.”
The Pentagon announced on Saturday that U.S. troops have begun their withdrawal from Kabul airport after a two-week scramble by Washington and its allies to fly out their nationals and Afghans at risk of retaliation under Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers.
This comes as the U.S. said it killed two Islamic State militants planning attacks in Afghanistan following a deadly bombing outside the airport on Thursday.
U.S. Army Major General William Taylor:
“The airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. I can confirm as more information has come in that two high profile ISIS targets were killed and one was wounded. And we know of zero civilian casualties without specifying any future plans.”
Although they are no friends of Islamic State, the Taliban condemned the U.S. strike.
Thursday's airport blast, which killed scores of people including 13 U.S. troops, highlighted the peril of the final stages of the mission.
Biden promised that Washington would go after the perpetrators.
BIDEN: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
The Taliban have said they have arrested some suspects involved in the airport blast.
As the evacuation operation nears its end, a State Department spokesman on Saturday said that about 350 Americans are still trying to leave the country.
Some 5,400 U.S. citizens have been evacuated since Aug. 14, according to the U.S. government.
And, American officials warn of a high risk of further attacks by Islamic State militants.