US President Joe Biden said that another terrorist attack on Kabul’s airport is highly likely, CNN reports.
The President added that the commanders have informed him about the potential threat ‘in the next 24-36 hours’ with the US Embassy in Kabul issuing a security alert.
“Due to a specific, credible threat, all U.S. citizens in the vicinity of Kabul airport (HKIA), including the South (Airport Circle) gate, the new Ministry of the Interior, and the gate near the Panjshir Petrol station on the northwest side of the airport should leave the airport area immediately,” the alert reads.
On Saturday, Biden’s statement came hours after the Pentagon said that two “high profile” ISIS targets were killed and another was injured in a US retaliatory drone strike in Afghanistan.
“This strike was not the last,” The President said in his statement, adding that the US will ‘hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay’.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” Biden said.
“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” Biden added. “I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources, and plans to protect our men and women on the ground.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon addressed the retaliatory drone strike.
“I can confirm, as more information has come in, that two high-profile ISIS targets were killed, and one was wounded,” Major General Hank Taylor, deputy director of the Joint Staff For Regional Operations, told the press. “And we know of zero civilian casualties.”
“Without specifying any future plans, I will say that we will continue to have the ability to defend ourselves and to leverage over-the-horizon capability to conduct counterterrorism operations as needed,” Taylor said.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby also confirmed that all the targets were hit in a single strike and that they were “ISIS-K planners and facilitators.”
“I’m not going to talk about specific capabilities ISIS may have lost in this strike,” Kirby said. “They lost a planner, and they lost a facilitator, and they have one wounded.”
The fact two of these individuals are no longer walking on the face of the Earth, that’s a good thing,” Kirby added. “It is a good thing for the people of Afghanistan, it’s a good thing for our troops and our forces at that airfield.”
The announcement of the drone strike came a day after President Biden vowed to retaliate for the Kabul bombing that claimed the lives of 13 American servicemen, and dozens of Afghans.
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