In light of intelligence pointing to possible new attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a warning to Americans at the city’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Friday night.
Americans were told that due to “security threats at the Kabul airport, we continue to advise U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates,” the warning read.
“U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey gate, East gate, North gate or the New Ministry of Interior gate now should leave immediately.”
The State Department told The Hill on Saturday that “this is a dynamic and volatile security situation on the ground.” The department told Americans to refer to its website for updates.
It’s not quite clear where the Biden administration would like the stranded Americans to go.
Following Thursday’s suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport that left 12 U.S. Marines and one sailor dead, President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate against ISIS-K, the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.
He made good on that promise the following night.
U.S. Central Command announced on Friday night that a U.S. drone strike had killed the planner of Thursday’s deadly attack.
“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,” spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said.
“The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
Biden warned that another attack at the Kabul airport is “highly likely,” according to Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson.
Biden warns another attack on U.S. troops at Kabul airport is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 28, 2021
According to The Hill, ISIS-K is “the most violent of Afghanistan’s jihadist militant groups.” It has several thousand members in small areas of the country’s northeast.
The outlet reported that the group takes its name from Khorasan, a “historical region that once encompassed parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.”
ISIS-K reportedly adheres to “a more extreme version of Islam than the Taliban,” for which reason the two groups are enemies.
According to The Hill, ISIS-K formed in early 2015 after the Islamic State “swept across northern Iraq the prior year” — another consequence of the Obama-Biden administration’s decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq in 2011.
At any rate, a display of strength from the U.S. was certainly welcome and long overdue. Let’s hope it was enough to ensure the safety of the American citizens trapped behind enemy lines.
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