WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With just a matter of days left until United States troops are set to pull out from the region, the Pentagon says it is preparing for more ISIS attacks in Kabul.
“We still believe there are credible threats,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. “In fact, I’d say specific credible threats.”
Pentagon officials say the deadly explosion that killed 13 American service members and at least 60 Afghans on Thursday could be just the first attempt to disrupt evacuation efforts.
“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts, absolutely,” Kirby said. “But I won’t get into the specifics of what those are and why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
President Joe Biden spoke about the attack from the White House Thursday evening, placing the blame on the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.
Major General Hank Taylor says the attack Thursday did impact evacuation efforts.
“A little lessening of what we say is total capacity of people in and around gates,” he said.
More than 12,000 people were evacuated in the last 24 hours, according to the Pentagon. Nexstar’s Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer asked Kirby about the ongoing safety of the evacuees and U.S troops.
“We obviously don’t want to see any more casualties,” Kirby said. “That’s why we are monitoring the threat stream very closely.”
President Biden was warned Friday that another terror attack in Kabul is likely, and that the next few days of the mission will be the most dangerous. But Kirby says the Department of Defense remains focused on completing that mission.
“The Commander in Chief has made a very clear decision that it is time to end America’s involvement on the ground and we’re going execute that decision as we should,” Kirby said.