Former President Donald Trump, in a new video message early Friday morning, expressed his condolences for the U.S. troops who were killed in the explosions at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and insisted that if he was still president, the “act of evil” would not have happened.
“This tragedy should never have taken place,” Trump said in the message. “It would not have happened if I were your president.”
Thursday, at least two explosions ripped through the crowds of men, women, and children at the gates of the Kabul airport while they were trying to leave Kabul after the Taliban seized power almost two weeks ago.
Thirteen U.S. military troops were killed and more than a dozen more were injured, and officials say the death toll is expected to climb higher. In addition, Afghan health officials said at least 60 civilians died, but the count could be even more, as videos put online by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies and wounded victims.
Trump, in his message, expressed condolences for the victims of the suicide bombers’ attack, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. The terrorist organization said one of the bombers had targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army.”
“As one nation, America mourns the loss of our brave and brilliant American service members in a savage and barbaric terrorist attack in Afghanistan,” said Trump. “These noble American warriors laid down their lives in the line of duty. They sacrificed themselves for the country that they loved, racing against time to help rescue their fellow citizens from harm’s way. They died as American heroes and the nation will honor their memory forever.”
He also said that the nation will pray together that “God will heal the other courageous American service members who were wounded in this heinous attack,” and that “our hearts are with” the families of the innocent civilians were killed or injured in this “act of evil.”
Trump noted that many Americans have had “profound sorrow and even pain, and perhaps none more so than the veterans of that 20-year war” while seeing the events unfolding in Afghanistan as President Joe Biden’s deadline of removing troops from the country by Aug. 31 approaches, and after the Taliban swiftly took control of the nation.
Many veterans “answered the call proudly and without hesitation” after the 9/11 attacks, said Trump.
“Every American who served in Afghanistan has made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” he said. “On behalf of your fellow citizens, I want you to know that those sacrifices were not made in vain. We know what you did, we know how brave you were, and we thank you, we salute you, and we honor you for all time.”
He concluded by saying he hopes all Americans will join him in continuing to pray for the safe return for all U.S. citizens and soldiers from Afghanistan.