‘Guidance is to just do it‘
President Joe Biden has given the Pentagon the “green light” to strike any targets affiliated with the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-K, the group responsible for the attack, without seeking White House approval, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of the operation.
Senior Pentagon leaders already had this authority, but Biden reaffirmed it in instructions to the military on Friday, one of the officials said.
The president’s “guidance is to just do it,” the person said. “If we find more, we will strike them.”
President Joe Biden said on Saturday that additional terrorist attacks at Kabul’s airport — like the one carried out on Aug. 26 — remain “highly likely” as the U.S. military works to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan in the coming days.
The president’s statements also confirmed that U.S forces are planning to carry out additional retaliatory strikes against ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate group that claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 attack which claimed the lives of 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. servicemembers.
“I said we would go after the group responsible for the attack on our troops and innocent civilians in Kabul, and we have. This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,” said President Biden, in part.