On Friday, August 27, the rescue mission resumed in a race against the narrow window of time left for evacuees in Afghanistan to be airlifted from Kabul airport after two terrorist attacks the day before.
According to Reuters, the airport might see more attacks to come from the ISIS-K terrorist group after the Thursday duel bombing outside of the airfield, killing at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. service members and some children.
The group claimed its involvement in the bombing, saying it wanted to target “translators and collaborators with the American army.” ISIS is against both the Western countries and the Taliban.
Sky News reported that a NATO diplomat alleged the Taliban should also be held accountable for the attack, for the militant group had released “thousands of prisoners to walk out of jails in recent weeks” ever since it took hold of the country.
General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told the outlet that the U.S. was expecting potential rockets or car bombs targeting the airport from the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.
Among the killed U.S. soldiers, 10 were Marines, and 1 was a sailor, with at least 18 others wounded, marking the worst attack against the U.S. army in a decade, CBS News revealed.
Despite the stakes, desperate citizens seeking a chance to escape the Taliban’s ruling soon continued to gather around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
But as CBS News noted, at the Abbey Gate where the suicide bombing occurred, only one Taliban fighter stood among the blood-stained possessions scattered over the ground.
Time was clearly ticking as many countries had already wrapped up their rescue mission waiting for the U.S. troops to pack up soon.
As of Friday, most of the more than 20 ally countries participating in airlifting Afghans and their own citizens out of Kabul announced the evacuations were complete.
On Thursday night, after vowing for vengeance over the bombing, President Joe Biden said, “we will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on.”
The President, however, did not seem to revise his decision to stick with the August 31 deadline the Taliban demanded the U.S. not to cross.
According to the Associated Press, the rescue mission had successfully picked up more than 100,000 individuals from Kabul, but thousands more were still stuck in the country.
The White House announced on Friday morning that 8,500 evacuees had been taken out on U.S. military planes in the previous 24 hours, with another 4,000 on coalition planes.