Thirteen U.S. service members were killed and more than a dozen others injured in an attack outside the airport in the capital of Afghanistan on Thursday.
The Pentagon said a suicide bomber detonated an explosion that tore through a crowd waiting at an entrance to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where thousands of people have gathered every day since the city fell to the Taliban, desperate to board flights out of the country. The Pentagon said another explosion struck a nearby airport.
Afghan officials say 90 people were killed and another 150 wounded in the attacks later claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province. An IS official Amaq news agency said on its Telegram channel that the member was named Abdul Rahman al-Logari that carried out the suicide attack. The attack was carried out as military service personnel and U.S. allies are expected to be out of the country by August 31st under an agreement signed with the Taliban.
Two local Congressman have weighed in on the deadly attacks. 18th District Congressman Darin Lahood, who sits on the the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation and Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness says the whole process has been infuriating: “The reports regarding the terrorist attacks at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan are as heartbreaking as they are infuriating. My prayers are with the family members of the service members killed in these attacks, the service members who were wounded, and those who remain in harm’s way. The U.S. soldiers at Hamid Karzai International Airport represent the best of America, working countless hours despite deadly threats. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“The nightmare we are watching unfold is what many of us feared and it was entirely avoidable. For months, many in Congress from both parties, the military community, and Intelligence Community warned about the consequences of a rapid withdrawal of American forces in Afghanistan.
“America does not bow to terrorists. The attacks in Kabul must be a wake-up call for President Biden. He is the Commander-in-Chief, and he must reverse his arbitrary deadline, work to ensure evacuation routes are protected, and make sure that no American is left behind.”
13th District Congressman Rodney Davis has called the troop withdrawal and absolute disaster: “May God bless our troops who made the ultimate sacrifice today while working to save American lives. My heart breaks for them and their families. From a grateful Nation, your sacrifice will never be forgotten. My family and I are praying for all of those who have lost their lives and those who are still in harm’s way in Afghanistan.
“This situation was completely avoidable. Regardless of the decision to withdraw, the way in which President Biden has conducted this withdrawal has been an absolute disaster. The deaths of our troops and Afghan civilians are a direct consequence of the President’s botched, rushed withdrawal. His attempts to meet an arbitrary, political deadline has cost American lives.
“The President, our Commander in Chief, has a moral responsibility to do everything in his power to get every last American citizen and ally out of Afghanistan safely and as soon as possible. He is not meeting the moment. We must stop depending on the Taliban to support our withdrawal. We know they can’t be trusted to protect American lives. We must make clear to the Taliban that we will stay until every American citizen and ally is safe and out of the country. “The terrorists who perpetrated these heinous attacks in Kabul today must be brought to justice. The President must not hesitate to use the full weight of the American military to fight back against the rise of ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. We absolutely cannot allow them to re-establish a foothold in Afghanistan to plot terrorists attacks against our country.”
President Biden mourned the loss of troops today in remarks at the White House and has vowed to retaliate against those who orchestrated the attacks and continue the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan by the end of the month. The U.S. has helped more than 100,000 people leave Afghanistan since August 14th, according to the White House.