tv Al Jazeera English News Bulletin LINKTV August 26, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> we saw a visibly shaken president when he was delivering his statement, he essentially defended his policy. what is the reaction likely to be in washington? >> the reaction in washington is divided, as one could expect. are those calling for joe biden's resignation, mostly his republican critics who have been arguing that this has been botched since joe biden took office and it has been a struggle to get a foothold on the situation but then there are others who feel the u.s. president is not to blame, in
fact the previous trump administration is partly at fault and you heard joe biden as he spoke. it is one of the last questions when joe biden was asked if he dared any response money for the deaths. the president did not shy away from owning the actions he has taken but also said he inherited a problem from the previous administration given the deal that was struck by the trump administration. he alleged that led to a complex set of parameters which he was unable to change. what he did change was the withdrawal date, leaving by the
middle of may and extended to august 31. now the headline is despite the deaths that have occurred, spite the urgings of the international community and others to extend this deadline and the withdrawal of u.s. forces to allow evacuations to continue in a safe manner, the u.s. president says he is not doing that. he is firm on his date says those left behind, he will make sure they are evacuated by other means and i think the other important headline here is that the u.s. president is not going to be bolstering the military in any way. they feel that what they have is adequate complete this mission. however, the united states says it will retaliate for the blasts that have occurred in kabul and we know have killed dozens of afghans and more than a dozen
american. -- americans. he says he will hunt down those responsible, and in the words of the american president, make you pay. so the president is taking ownership of the situation, even in the face of harsh criticism from members of the international community and capitol hill, while at the same time saying that he understands the that many of these american servicemember families are feeling right now. not only did he hold a moment of silence but at times appear somewhat tearful. his own son died as the result of military service, from a brain tumor likely associated with the fumes of the burn pits as he served in iraq. he knows what it is like, whether it is a killed in action situation or a residual injury that kills once a servicemember returns home. joe biden is no stranger to
grief, so when he speaks about lives lost you know he understands the grief families are feeling right now. that is why he has held them up as heroes even though he sternly says the mission will continue. >> this is becoming foreign of quite a greater magnitude, for 12 american service personnel to be killed. we are hearing reports, warnings that there would be a total breakdown in security should the taliban take over in this way. if we see more american casualties in afghan, what could that mean for the president? >> is not just the casualties but there is something else in their the president addressed. it's one of the questions towards the end that is going to be problematic for joe biden.
that is reporting that some u.s. officials had provided the list of american who were allowed to penetrate the perimeter to the airport. the list was not only generated but turned over to the taliban and what some critics are alleging is that the united states supplied its enemies, albeit ones that are temporarily cooperating, with an alleged kyl list of americans and afghans who have supported the u.s. mission and this has outraged american. not just on capitol hill but around the united states and the u.s. president did not and i it. he says he was not 100% sure that this had occurred but says it was not out of the realm of possibility there were times he admitted the military had notified taliban that buses of americans would be coming through. that is going to haunt this president in addition to this
foreign policy crisis. many people are going to pin the blame on him, even if he was not directly involved in generating that list. as you heard, he takes full responsibility and this is something that has occurred under his watch. >> thank you very much. just a recap of our breaking news story, medical news sources in afghanistan told al jazeera that as many as 60 people were killed in two explosions outside kabul's international airport. we had confirmation from the pentagon earlier that there were two suicide bombers in afghanistan earlier. >> ambulances rushed through the streets to collect rooted -- wounded, bodies are lifted onto stretchers. the attacks happened close to the at the gate entrance of kabul airport.
>> it was a sudden explosion. we climbed out and saw that there were many people affected. there were people everywhere whose brains were scattered. i saw at least 500 people. the explosion was powerful. half were hurled into the water, others outside. we carried people in stretchers here in my clothes were completely bloody. >> the hotel is controlled by u.k. and nato forces, one of the places where tens of thousands of afghan have been gathering. they have been going there to have papers processed before being evacuated out of the country. western governments and security experts in kabul have been warning about potential attacks around the airport for days. the taliban told al jazeera it had intelligence potential cars
in the area. countries have already announced a halt to their evacuation operations. these attacks jeopardize remaining flights meaning afghans who want to leave their country and have all the necessary documents to do so could be left behind. the taliban has condemned the attacks, but suicide bombings like these are not dissimilar to those taliban uses as what are described against foreign invaders and show what kind of security challenges movement faces. -- the movement faces. >> rob joins us live from kabul. we heard from president biden earlier that although he was saying aliens and afghans would like to be able to leave the country, he cannot be responsible for getting them all out. it seems we had been seeing
afghans swarming the airport and enduring inhumane conditions just to be able to get onto one of these flights whether they have the permission to or not. what is the feeling in kabul tonight? >> he set a couple of interesting things that pertain directly to the evacuation, that the united states will not be put off by this mission, that it will be completed and will carry on with this steady course, if you like and he said with this deadline coming up between now and the deadline set on the 31st of august, midnight tuesday here in afghanistan, he started talking about other ways to get people that need to be got onto
planes, people with passports or green card holders, and also people who may have worked with u.s. forces that are eligible for special visas. he was talking about different means and maybe use of buses. we know the u.s. has used helicopters, for example, to take groups of people across the perimeter so they do not have to go through these gates and crowds amassed around their but directly onto the tarmac and runway and evacuation plan. i think the u.s. is now thinking more on the lines of getting people into the airport rather than the horrific scenes you have witnessed this thursday of running the gauntlet of the dangers the perimeter now poses.
it is now interesting beyond the deadline, talking about continuing to get out america's friends and people associated u.s. missions. this is far trickier because this is after the deadline after armed forces have left. how do you go about trying to get out people who still are trying to move to the united states to have u.s. protection?
-- that is why i again check with kabul. they told me those areas were under the security of the u.s. force. when asked so it did not happen in the outer perimeter? >> no. not where our forces are. but the main thing is that is a huge condition. our people, there is a possibility for members of isis to move among the people in the crowd and carry out sabotage
activities. this is what we have been saying for the past days. that is why it is necessary that everyone should be checked. >> the u.s. has been negotiating the taliban to secure the border and at least to extend the perimeter. what was the u.s. response to the warnings that an isis attack was imminent? >> everyone knew that these attacks were evident. with such a huge crowd of people, it is not possible to check everyone. some were inside the airport. outside, we are not allowing
everyone have the airport. everyone is requesting that we should allow those without any proper documents to go to the airport but we are telling them that this carries the risk of sabotage activity. they should have proper documents. so this happened. a very painful, horrendous incident. >> can i ask you about i.s. k? the president was mentioning and the pentagon confirm, how much of a challenge today post to your rule in afghanistan? are you going to see a new
chapter, a new phase of violence, or, and instability open up? is i.s. kate developing into an insurgency? >> it does not have roots among the people. it is a foreign phenomenon. but here it is a special, exceptional case because there are thousands of people gathered at the airport who should not have been here. they adopted a proper way taking people through commercial flights. it did not happen. >> how can you say that i.s. k is not a challenge to you when they have staged some horrific
attacks over the past year? they have staged some horrific attacks on a maternity host, at a school for girls and you may know there is a member of the taliban -- there are members of the taliban joined i.s. k because they did not feel the taliban was extreme enough for them. >> because it is not rational to continue. the country is not occupied by foreign forces. they will not have any justification from islamic rules to carry out sabotage activities. it is t a challenge for u >> but they have killed afans not just targeting foreign forces, they have been killing afghans. >> they are killing afghans but
they are a foreign element that can be eliminated. they have no coercion in afghanistan. but they should not be able to carry on such sabotage -- carry out such sabotage activities. >> we have been watching developments. u.s. president joe biden is saying the situation on the ground is still evolving. he had stern words for those who carried out the attacks. ask for those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes america harm, no this. we will not forgive, we will not forget. we will hunt you down and make you pay.
i will defend my interest -- our interests and our people every measure at my command. >> douglas served in afghanistan as a senior counterinsurgency advisor and joins us from virginia the escape. we just heard from a taliban spokesman saying that the isis-k group in afghanistan poses absolutely no threat to their rule or ability to establish some sort of government because their main target has been foreign forces and not afghans. what do you make of that? >> i would say the taliban's inability to prevent this attack certainly lies that claim. it will be interesting to see how the taliban deals with i sk. we know they have been fighting for years and have distinct ideological differences.
whether the telegram will be able to put down their own insurgency now will be an interesting test for them. >> when you say their own insurgency, i'm just thinking factional fighting in the taliban or members that have defected thai estate. -- defected. >> they are just now going to be on the receiving end of what forces have been there the whole time. they will be dealing with these guerrillas who get these terrorist like attacks on taliban interests. >> how widespread is the presence of i sk in the country? >> my understanding is it is a fairly narrow. only about 2000 fighters and is very much in the east. there is no sk over by iran, but
in the north. there is no presence and able to project power into kabul. >> could rivalry between competing factions of the taliban strengthen the capability of i sk? >> certainly. anytime you are just unified, that helps your opponent. if there are splinters within the taliban that this group can exploit, they obviously will. that said, i'm not sure i sk is an existential threat to them. the taliban is much larger but numbers don't always tell the whole story. >> are we likely to see a deepening relationship between the taliban and the u.s. in order to prevent i sk gaining a
stronger foothold in the country and the possibility of attacks making place outside of afghanistan. >> that would certainly be a deep irony. we will see how this plays out in the coming weeks. this will be determined with just what type of taliban we see , whether it is a charm offensive, whether the taliban 2.2 is real, or if that is just pr and it is the same taliban we have always known. if it is the latter, then it is hard to see any real type of corporation. -- of cooperation. >> what did you think about bidens remarks that is not about trust, it is about mutual interest. >> is almost about -- it is almost a truism. certainly, if the taliban get serious about fighting i sk, we will have some influence in helping with that.