WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Following the deaths of 12 service members and more injuries from at least two explosions in Kabul, Pentagon officials warned there is a very real threat of additional terrorist attacks in Kabul.
Officials also said if the US can find those responsible for the attack, the US military will respond.
“Yes, if we can find who’s associated with this, we will go after them,” said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie of the US Central Command.
US officials said a suicide bomber is responsible for the explosion. There are also a number of additional reported attacks, killing at least 60 Afghans.
“The attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number of ISIS gunmen who opened fire on civilian and military forces,” McKenzie said.
He said troops must physically search those entering the airport and being that close led to the high number of US troop casualties.
Republicans like Congressman Mike Waltz blame the Biden Administration for mishandling the military withdrawal.
“Extend this deadline,” Waltz said. “Go allow our military, our special operators to go out into the city and bring Americans home.”
But Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said the attack is a reminder that pushing back the deadline of August 31 is a dangerous prospect.
“We are relying to some extent on the Taliban’s promises that they will keep us safe during this process, and I think that is what is motivating President Biden to stick with the original time table,” Durbin said.
Pentagon officials said there was clearly a failure because the attackers passed through several checkpoints controlled by the Taliban or Afghan forces before reaching the airport gates and US troops.
Despite the possibility of more attacks, the Pentagon said evacuations continue — but there is not a plan to send additional US troops to Afghanistan.