On Thursday (Aug. 26), President Joe Biden declared plans to retaliate against those who participated in the deadly terrorist attacks that killed at least 12 U.S. service members.
During a press conference at the White House, the president said he asked the military for ways to respond to the suicide bombs, which he believes were carried out by an Islamic State terror group. “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.
“I’ve also told my commanders to attack ISIS-K assets. And we will respond with precision, at our time, at a place that we choose, and the moment of our choosing,” Biden added. “Here’s what you need to know. These ISIS terrorists will not win.”
Biden said the attacks were ones “we’ve been talking about, worried about” over the last few days. “We’re outraged as well as heartbroken,” he said, however, the evacuation mission will continue and not be “deterred by terrorists.”
“We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation,” Biden said.
Earlier today (Aug. 26), at least 12 U.S. service members and more than 60 Afghans were killed in multiple explosions and gunfire at and near the Kabul airport. One bomb exploded as crowds waited by an airport gate and another went off at a nearby hotel.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin offered his condolences to the friends and family members of those who were killed. “Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others,” he said. ”We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief. But we will not be dissuaded from the task at hand. To do anything less — especially now — would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered.”
The White House flags will be flown at half staff through Monday (Aug. 30) in honor of those killed in the attacks.