US relying on Taliban for airport protection, Pentagon says 'they've been useful'

US authorities believe ISIS was behind the attacks. He also noted that a 'number of ISIS gunmen' opened fire on US troops, following the bombing


                            US relying on Taliban for airport protection, Pentagon says 'they've been useful'
The commander of US Central Command General McKenzie said the US authorities believe ISIS was behind the attacks (Twitter @bsarwary)

The Department of Defense officials in a press briefing said that the US is continuing the evacuation mission and will keep 'relying on the Taliban for 'protection' following the explosions outside Kabul airport on Thursday, August 26, that killed at least 60 people and injured another 140. The commander of US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie Jr, told reporters that at least 13 US service members were killed and 15 troops were wounded in the twin blasts. Reportedly, two suicide bombers struck the area around Hamid Karzai International Airport.

General McKenzie said the US authorities believe the ISIS was behind the attacks. He also noted that a "number of ISIS gunmen" opened fire on US troops, following the bombing. The bombers got past Taliban checkpoints on the outer perimeter of the airfield, Mckenzie noted, hinting that there was "a failure somewhere". He further said that more such attacks are expected and US officials will continue to coordinate with the Taliban to secure the area.

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"The threat from ISIS is completely real, we expect those attacks to continue and we are doing everything we can to be prepared for those attacks, " McKenzie said. He also said, "That includes reaching out to the Taliban who are actually providing security for the outer cordon of the airfield to make sure they know what we expect them to do to protect us." Reporters asked Gen McKenzie if he 'trusted Taiban' he noted that the militant group and the US share "the common goal" of getting Western troops out by August 31. He also added that "they’ve been useful to work with" during the evacuations. Noting that the evacuation mission would continue, GenMckenzie said, "ISIS will not deter us from accomplishing the mission, I can guarantee you that."

'We are dependent on the Taliban? Lord help us'

General Mckenzie's statements on Afghanistan airport blasts attracted a lot of attention on Twitter. One user tweeted, "But but but.... they've changed. I cannot believe we are in a position where we are relying on THE TALIBAN to protect our troops and citizens. If it didn't come from Gen McKenzie's own mouth I wouldn't believe it." Another user tweeted, "Gen McKenzie Jr said that we are dependent on the Taliban to protect our military from ISIS? They may not like each other, but we do know that they both hate us. Lord help us!" One tweet read, "Disturbing to hear Gen. McKenzie justify US collaboration w/ Taliban by claiming mutual interest in US withdrawal. Taliban's interest is US humiliation & defeat, which includes withdrawal. Taliban can have withdrawal AND attacks on US. Does McKenzie get that?"



 



 



 

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