Prime minister Boris Johnson has given details of a horrific attack outside Kabul airport that killed dozens of people, including US servicemen. President Joe Biden has been completely absent from public view.
At around 2.00 PM UK time, an explosion took place outside Kabul airport. The Pentagon’s press secretary immediately tweeted scant details. The incident occurred around 9.00 AM Washington time.
Late this afternoon, British Prime Boris Johnson released a video clip in which he confirmed the “barbaric terrorist attack.”
He then clarified “what looks like a series of attacks in Kabul, on the airport or the crowds on the airport of which members of the US military have very sadly lost their lives.”
It has since been confirmed that the first bomb was detonated at Abbey Gate outside the airport. Gunfire was then heard. As people fled another explosion occurred believed to have been set off by another attacker.
Four US marines have been killed. At around 7.30 PM, UK time, a third explosion was heard in Kabul raising fears the coordinated attacks are on a much greater scale than initially thought. The BBC has spoken to an Afghan health official who puts the death toll at 60, far higher than initially feared. 140 people have been injured.
Children are understood to be among the dead. Emerging terror organisation ISIS-K is suspected to be behind the attack, not the Taliban.
The question soon arose, where is the US president? The Pentagon released the same information as the PM in his briefing at roughly the same time. It has since been revealed the commander in chief is in the situation room. But no one more senior than the Pentagon’s press secretary has been sent out to update the world’s media.
Senior Democrat, Nancy Pelosi has taken to social media, but has not bothered to comment on events in Kabul, instead, tweeting a reminder about women’s equality day.
“Today, and every day, let us summon the suffragists’ spirit of hope and strive to lift up the voices of women across the nation – because we know this truth: when women succeed, America succeeds,” posted Pelosi at midday, Washington time, going on to stress her devotion to “full equality” adding, “Democrats are committed to Building Back Better with Women.”
Today’s attack is the first time US servicemen have been killed this year, and comes at the tail end of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal, set to conclude on 31 August.
Senior Republicans have been quick to call for Biden to be impeached or resign.
“Should Biden step down or be removed for his handling of Afghanistan? Yes,” tweeted former ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. “But that would leave us with Kamala Harris which would be ten times worse. God help us.”
Republican congressman Ronny Jackson tweeted: “If President Trump can be impeached over a phone call, then the time has come to IMPEACH Biden for gross negligence in Afghanistan.”
“Americans deserve better. We deserve better than someone who willfully IGNORES the WORST crisis in decades.”
In another post, Jackson tweeted: “There will be time for investigations and assigning blame later, but we do need a new Commander-in-Chief NOW! The leadership that got us into this does not have the competence and will to get us out.
“People are now officially dying!!”