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Biden to ISIS-K: We are not done with you yet

Source: ANI
September 01, 2021 09:53 IST
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US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) warned the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), the group which killed 13 US troops in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport, and said that the US is not done with the terrorist group.

IMAGE: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony J Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan listen as President Joe Biden delivers remarks on evacuation efforts and the situation in Afghanistan, Washington, DC, August 20, 2021. Photograph: Ken Cedeno/Reuters

"To ISIS-K we are not done with you yet," Biden said, adding that "to those who wish America harm, we will hunt you down and you will pay the ultimate price." Biden's address to the nation comes a day after the last American military planes left the country, concluding the nation's longest war nearly 20 years after it began.

Biden, in defending a decision that has drawn scrutiny for its execution, said the real decision in Afghanistan was "between leaving and escalating," framing his choice to withdraw troops as the only option aside from surging more forces to the country.

"I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit," he said.

The United States forces left Afghanistan on Tuesday morning, marking the end of a chaotic and messy exit from America's longest war.

Biden also said this is a new world, the terror threat has metastasized across the world, adding, "the threat from terrorism continues, but it's changed. Our strategy needs to change too."

"I know that the threat from terrorism continues in its pernicious and evil nature, but it has changed, expanded to other countries. Our strategy has to change too. We will maintain the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries. We just don't need to fight a ground war to do it," he said.

Following the end of the United States' war in Afghanistan, Biden referred to the American lives lost during the conflict's final days.

Noting that the success of the US's withdrawal from Afghanistan "was due to the incredible skill, bravery, and selfless courage" of the US military and diplomats, Biden said that the 13 fallen soldiers who perished as part of the operation would not be forgotten.

"Twenty service members were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen heroes gave their lives," Biden said adding that "We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay, but we should never, ever, ever forget."

Biden said American service members performed their duty despite a dangerous and ultimately deadly environment in the war-torn country.

"Risking their lives, not for professional gains but to serve others," Biden said of US's troops, noting that the work of evacuating Americans and Afghan partners was not "a mission of war" but rather "a mission of mercy."

The President contended that the US military was prepared to deal with all those events, even though he himself has admitted that the US was caught off-guard by the quick collapse of the Afghan army.

"This is the way the mission was designed. It was designed to operate under severe stress and attack, and that's what it did," Biden said.

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Source: ANI