Kabul Airport Attack Escalates Afghanistan Conflict
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” US President Joe Biden said. These remarks came after the devastating attack upon those trying desperately to get to the Kabul airport to evacuate the volatile situation on the ground. The Taliban quickly asserted that they were not responsible for the heinous act. The Islamic State in Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K, a local offshoot of Iraq-and Syria-based terrorist groups, claimed responsibility. It is a longtime sworn enemy of both the United States and the Taliban. Thursday’s twin bombings, one at the Abbey gate entrance to the airport and another at the nearby Baron Hotel where evacuees were told to gather before heading to the airport for evacuation, killed 60 Afghans and 13 US troops. Scores more were wounded.
US officials had been in contact with the Taliban who assured them safe passage to evacuate. The Taliban cannot be trusted, but even they do not condone the actions of the ISIS-K’s radical group. The carnage was perpetrated by two suicide bombers along with gunmen shooting into desperate evacuees trying to get to the Kabul airport. Over the last week, thousands of American and European citizens along with Afghanis have been fighting their way toward this last chance for evacuation. The route has become a minefield for those seeking to get out of the country. The US has stated that it will complete its evacuation by 31 August. European allies in the country have begged the US to continue beyond its self-imposed deadline. Afghan citizens old enough to remember the Taliban militants’ brutal rule of 20 years ago have been foremost in those trying to flee. Women were confined to their homes, only allowed outside with a male escort, and girls were forbidden an education. Today’s Afghan citizens are better educated and informed, used to participating in modern and more cosmopolitan society.