1 min agoGermany will continue to support those trying to leave Afghanistan, chancellor saysFrom CNN’s Nada Bashir
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference as she meets with economic and financial organizations in Berlin at the German chancellery on August 26. (Clemens Bilan – Pool/Getty Images)German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that those who have not yet been able to access evacuation flights from Kabul will not be forgotten, adding that the German Foreign Ministry is still in negotiations with the Taliban.
“We know that the window of opportunity is closing. Tens of thousands of people have been rescued but I want to say again today: we will not forget those people who could not be rescued by the air bridge. Rather we will do everything we can to enable their evacuation,” Merkel said.
“We are in negotiations with the Taliban, being carried out by the foreign ministry, especially Ambassador [Markus] Potzel, and there will be international coordination as to how to proceed,” she added.
Speaking during a news conference in Berlin, Merkel addressed the unfolding situation in Kabul following explosions at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, describing the incident as a “malicious and vile attack.”
“There have been warnings about this coming in over the last few days and that it has now actually happened is of course terrible news,” Merkel said. “We see in this attack this afternoon that the risk is immense and that this is a very high pressure situation under which people are trying to get the people evacuated and to maintain the air bridge,” she added.
15 min agoTop Republican congressman says Biden “must take decisive action to protect our troops”House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on President Biden to take “decisive action to protect our troops, our citizens, and our allies without regard for an arbitrary deadline.”
McCarthy urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to act quickly to brief Congress on the blasts near the Kabul airport.
“It is time for Congress to act quickly to save lives. Speaker Pelosi must bring Congress back into session before August 31 so that we can be briefed thoroughly and comprehensively by the Biden Administration and pass Representative Gallagher’s legislation prohibiting the withdrawal of our troops until every American is out of Afghanistan,” the California Republican said in a statement.
McCarthy extended his condolences to the families of those injured and killed in the attacks.
“Today’s attacks are horrific. My prayers go out to those who were injured and the families of those who were killed. I also continue to pray for the safety of our troops, the stranded American citizens, our allies and Afghan partners who remain in the area. Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the withdrawal,” he said.
47 min agoPentagon confirms “a number” of US service members killed in Kabul airport attack Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted that he can confirm that “a number” of US service members have been killed in the airport attack.
The official also said “a number of others” are being treated for wounds. He noted that the US is also aware that Afghans “fell victim” to this attack.
He did not provide exact numbers.
See Kirby’s tweet:
31 min agoIf Biden “does not respond where he can” to blasts, it could embolden possible terrorists, GOP lawmaker saysFrom CNN’s Adrienne Vogt
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said the two explosions that took place near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport should serve as a “reminder to Americans that when it comes to war, it’s not just one side that can decide if they want that war to end.”
Kinzinger said members of Congress were in a briefing this week and “were warned of this exact threat.” The blasts happened near one of the entry gates of the airport and appear to be suicide attacks, according to three US officials.
He said that while “there’s no good answer to this,” if President Biden does not respond to the explosions, it could embolden terrorist groups.
“I think if the President does not respond where he can, if the President does not follow through on the commitment — even though this is going to slow up the evacuation — to get every American out, and the promises we have made to our Afghan partners, the view of us not responding after this attack and then fleeing from the Kabul airport, I think, will do a lot to embolden those that now have an easy way to go out and recruit other radicals to fight the United States of America and our partners,” said Kinzinger, an Air Force pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The fact is there are people that no matter how much we want to go home, they want to kill us. We either fight them there or we’ll fight them here,” Kinzinger added.
At least two explosions took place outside the Kabul airport as the US and other countries try to evacuate citizens
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