McConnell rips Biden over Kabul airport attack

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Ky.) slammed President BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE after 12 U.S. service member were killed in attacks around the Kabul airport Thursday amid evacuation efforts.

“Americans’ hearts are breaking for our servicemembers and diplomats. They are doing heroic work to rescue American citizens and Afghan partners in the predictably chaotic wake of the President’s decision to withdraw,” McConnell said in a statement.

“Terrible things happen when terrorists are allowed to operate freely. This murderous attack offers the clearest possible reminder that terrorists will not stop fighting the United States just because our politicians grow tired of fighting them,” McConnell added.

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ISIS-K, a branch of ISIS that operates in South Asia and Central Asia, is claiming responsibility for the attack on the airport, with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, saying during a press briefing that ISIS fighters also opened fire on civilians and military forces in Kabul.

The “working assumption” by McKenzie is the suicide bomber was searched by troops at the Kabul airport gate when the person detonated the device.

There are ongoing threats from ISIS, according to McKenzie, as the 5,000 U.S. troops continue to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghans from the country.

“Our sympathies are also with the families of the innocent Afghans whom the terrorists killed today, and all the vulnerable Afghans who are risking everything in desperate efforts to escape the Taliban’s impending rule,” McConnell said. “Our partners in a long fight against terror deserve better than the dark fate that will await them after the last military aircraft has departed."

The GOP leader said he remains "concerned that terrorists worldwide will be emboldened by our retreat, by this attack, and by the establishment of radical Islamic terror state in Afghanistan." 

At least 60 Afghans are confirmed dead from the attack on the airport. 

“We need to redouble our global efforts to confront these barbarian enemies who want to kill Americans and attack our homeland,” McConnell said.