Local leaders respond to bombing Afghanistan, the President’s address

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport Thursday, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

At least 13 U.S. service members were killed in the Afghanistan bombings, including 11 Marines and one Navy medic. Fifteen military members were injured, said Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr.

Locally, Congressman Tom Reed and John Katko believed this tragedy could have been avoided and one went as far as saying the Blood in this attack is on the hands of the Biden Administration. Still, those and US Representative Joe Morelle agree it’s time for standing behind all service members over there and get those responsible. 

As of this evening,13 U.S service members were killed in a bomb attack carried out by ISIS-K wounding 18 others and more than 100 Afghan Civilians. A shock felt all the way here in Rochester. HERE’S CONGRESSIONMAN JOE MORELLE.

“We’re going to do everything we can to support those families and also we’re going to do everything we can over the next several days to get Americans and Afghans out of the Country,” Morelle said, also saying that the mission can be complete by the Biden Administraton’s deadline.

“Taliban has not been willing to engage in a Conversation about a military presence beyond Aug. 31st.,” Morelle said. “But more importantly the danger being faced by U.S Service members are only going to grow. We believe we can accomplish the mission by getting Americans out by that deadline. 

Representative Morelle added legislators are also in constant contact with the State and Defense Department leaders over when updates will come on what the U.S Government should do next. As of Thursday Afternoon officials estimate around 1500 U.S Citizens are still in Afghanistan.

The Military has not yet released the names of the Marines and other soldiers killed. The usual wait is 24 hours before identities be made public. 

This tragedy only heightened local Republican Representatives frustration over the chaotic exit of the Kabul Airport. In a statement Congressman John Katko called the attack avoidable in this statement:

“Today is a dark day in U.S. history. Words cannot fully express my devastation over the loss of innocent lives in today’s attacks in Kabul. Our U.S. servicemembers put their lives on the line to carry out their mission under impossibly difficult circumstances. Our brave Marines were left exposed, relying on Taliban forces to provide security, while executing an incredibly heroic and challenging humanitarian mission of unprecedented magnitude. Let’s be clear: we cannot trust the Taliban with American lives.

“As Americans prepare to reflect on the pain, loss, and devastation of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th that still shake us to the core, we now grieve a significant, yet avoidable, loss for our nation.  

“Now is the time to pray and express our gratitude for the sacrifice of these servicemembers and their families, as well as for the safety of those who remain at risk in Afghanistan this very hour. We are a nation indebted to them for their service and sacrifice to save thousands of lives. The time will come when President Biden and his administration will have to answer many urgent questions and I can promise that the Committee on Homeland Security will be actively gathering answers for the families of these servicemembers and the American people.”

Representative Tom Reed added in a statement:

“Our prayers go out to our men and women of the military in Afghanistan and specifically those heroic soldiers that were killed today in Kabul. This is a horrific reminder of the Biden Administration’s failure in conducting the withdrawal from Afghanistan. This administration has American blood on its hands and must be held to account. Further, now is not the time for “political spin” and “poll-tested decisions,” these are real lives being lost that demand true leadership. Let’s pray to God that this leadership emerges.”

Meanwhile, the local delegation waits to see if any of the victims are from here so they can offer support.

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