The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan pledged Monday that Afghanistan will never again be used as a sanctuary for terrorists.
On the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, ambassador Hugo Llorens spoke to a group of soldiers in Kabul and said Afghanistan would no longer be an “ungoverned space” for militants.
“Today we remember how this conflict began but let us also remember how this must end, with Afghanistan never again serving as an ungoverned space, sanctuary or base for those who are bent on attacking us and our allies,” Llorens said, according to Reuters.
Llorens also said the U.S. would “completely annihilate” any militants who belong to the Islamic State group in Afghanistan. His remarks come almost directly after two suicide attacks against U.S. troops. Earlier on Monday, a suicide bomber rammed into a convoy, wounding three Afghan civilians and at least two U.S. soldiers. The wounds suffered by the soldiers are not life-threatening. Last Wednesday, another suicide attack hit the U.S.’s largest military base in Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base.
Stateside at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford also honored the memory of the victims who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and paid tribute to the families left behind.
“Sixteen years ago, when terrorists attacked the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and as they attempted other attacks in Washington, D.C., they did so with a sense of purpose. They were attacking symbols that reflect our way of life and our values,” Dunford said, according to a Pentagon release.
“Instead of retreat, the tragedy of 9/11 produced in us an unyielding resolve,” Dunford added. “Instead of hopelessness, mourning turned into action. And we have strengthened our commitment to the idea that the freedom of many should never be endangered by the hatred of a few.”
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