Another terror attack in Kabul likely

US Marines keep watch during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS)
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US Marines keep watch during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS)

Highlights

National security chiefs warn Biden

Washington : President Joe Biden was warned on Friday that another terror attack in Kabul is "likely," one day after a suicide bomber outside the city's airport killed at least 113 people, including 13 U.S. service members.

The stark warning from the president's national security team came as the United States entered the final days of a months-long military withdrawal from Afghanistan, on track to meet Biden's August 31 deadline for a full withdrawal.

In the two weeks since Kabul fell on August 15, US and coalition partners have facilitated the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, including more than 5,000 American citizens.

The Pentagon said on Friday that more than 5,000 US service members are on the ground in Kabul assisting with the evacuation efforts.

"The next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date," they told Biden, according to a White House statement.

In response, Biden reaffirmed his "approval of all authorities they need to conduct the operation and protect our troops," said the White House. The generals confirmed to the president that they had the resources they believed they needed to do so effectively.

Marine Gen Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, said Thursday that ISIS is likely to try to continue attacks before the evacuations conclude.

McKenzie, who oversees US military operations in the region, said the threats against Western forces and civilians at the airport ranged from gunfire to rockets to suicide bombings.

"So very, very real threat streams, what we would call tactical that means imminent, could occur at any moment," he said.

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