With the crisis in Afghanistan rocking his presidency to the core, a clearly shaken Biden went before TV cameras to address the American people after the worst single-day death toll for the US military in Afghanistan since 2011.
The outer perimeter of access to the airport is controlled by the Taliban, and the airport gates are managed under heavy security by the Marines and other troops. They have been in charge of allowing passage of into the airport of thousands of people each day seeking to flee the country after the Taliban seized control of the government.
That requires them to examine the evacuees for their travel papers and security risks, General Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of the US Central Command, said Thursday.
The attack marked a deadly escalation of the drama unfolding at the airport. It is the only part of the country under foreign control following the Taliban’s return to power on August 15, and huge crowds have massed in the hope of being evacuated.