THE White House described the days leading up to the Aug. 31 deadline to exit Afghanistan as “the most dangerous period to date” causing US forces to brace for more terrorist “tactical threats” that could include rocket attacks, car bombs and even bigger suicide bombings.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Friday press briefing confirmed that both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were huddling with military leaders to consider “plans to develop ISIS-K targets… The next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date.”
Psaki explained that the evacuation mission would enter its “most dangerous part.”
“This is the retrograde period of the mission,” she said.
“And what that means is that this is the period of time when the military, commanders on the ground and forces, begin to move not just troops home, but also equipment home.”
BIDEN: ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Friday remained steadfast to follow through with the evacuation mission despite more ominous warnings of terrorists hoping to execute more attacks against US forces and civilians at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“The mission there being performed is dangerous and has now come with significant loss of American personnel, but it’s a worthy mission because they continue to evacuate folks out of that region, out of the airport,” Biden said while hosting Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House, the Washington Post reported.
“They’ve evacuated more than 12,000 additional people out of the airport in the last 24 hours.”
The mission to help provide Afghans and American citizens a chance to escape Taliban rule came under extreme peril on Thursday.
On that day, ISIS-K took credit for sending in a suicide bomber into the Kabul airport security gate who detonated a device that slain at least 170 people dead and wounded 155.
The blast rocked Kabul leaving 12 Marines and one Navy medic and 15 other US soldiers injured.
ISIS-K boasted hours after the bloodshed that they were responsible.
The terror group even released a picture of the suicide bomber standing before the ISIS flag, identified as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri.
They boasted how the bomber was able to get within 16-feet of American troops who were in the process of screening people and their documents from as they were seeking to be granted passage to jet out of Afghanistan.
As the country was grieving the loss of the fearless soldiers who died for their country, military leaders acknowledged that the soldiers based in Kabul were still in terrorists’ crosshairs.
Marine Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie acknowledged that US troops were bracing for any number of what he called "tactical threats.”
These could include heavy weaponry such as rocket attacks.
But McKenzie said the airport is equipped with anti-rocket and mortar systems.
"We feel that we'd be in good shape should that kind of attack occur," he said.
The terrorists could also try another suicide bombing.
But this one would be on a larger scale.
"We also know they aim to get a … vehicle-borne suicide attack in if they can — from a small vehicle to a large vehicle — they're working all those options," he said. "All of those things we look at."
Complicating the countermeasures to fend off any attacks, is the US farming security to the Taliban who has been establishing security and manning checkpoints outside the airport.
McKenzie noted that the US has been sharing some intelligence with Taliban leaders to thwart some potential threats.
CATCHING ISIS-K PLOTTERS
Hours after the attack that took the lives of American soldiers and Afghan innocents, President Biden addressed the nation and promised there would be retribution.
"For those that carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this:
"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command."
McKenzie maintained that there is a feverish pursuit to find the perpetrators of Thursday’s barbarous bombing.
"If we can find who's associated with this, we will go after them," the general said.
"We've been clear all along that we're going to retain the right to operate against ISIS in Afghanistan, and we are working very hard right now to determine attribution to determine who is associated with this cowardly attack, and we're prepared to take action against them. 24/7, we are looking for them.
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