Pentagon says US will keep relying on Taliban for airport ‘protection’


The US will continue its evacuation mission from Afghanistan — and will keep relying on the Taliban for “protection” in the aftermath of the deadly terror attacks on the Kabul airport on Thursday, Department of Defense officials said in a news briefing. At least 12 US service members were killed and 15 wounded after two suicide bombers struck the area around Hamid Karzai International Airport, Gen. Frank McKenzie Jr., commander of US Central Command, told reporters. A “number of ISIS gunmen” then opened fire on US troops, he said. The bombers appear to have somehow gotten past Taliban checkpoints on the outer perimeter of the airfield, McKenzie said, acknowledging there was “a failure somewhere.” US officials are bracing for more attacks, and will continue to coordinate with the Taliban to secure the area. “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. “That includes reaching out to the Taliban who are actually providing security for the outer cordon of the airfield,” he continued, “to make sure they know what we expect them to do to protect us.”

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