Speed Reads

afghanistan evacuations

Biden warns Kabul airport attackers 'we will hunt you down'

President Biden spoke on Thursday evening to address the attacks near Kabul's airport in Afghanistan that left 12 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans dead amid evacuation efforts.

Speaking to the Islamic extremist group ISIS-K, which claimed responsibility for the explosions, Biden vowed to "respond with force and precision." He said he has instructed the Pentagon to strike ISIS-K "assets, leadership, and facilities."

"We will not be deterred by terrorists. We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation," said Biden. He spoke to "those who carried out this attack" and also more generally to "anyone who wishes America harm," saying "we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

Biden also held a moment of silence for those killed in the attacks.

Despite the pending response to ISIS-K, Biden said the plan overall in Afghanistan remained unchanged by the day's events. Asked whether he would authorize additional military forces to fortify the evacuation operation at the airport, Biden said he would grant that if military commanders request it, but said they have so far indicated they can complete the mission as planned.