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Military Says They Are Relying On Taliban To ‘Protect’ Them In Kabul

[Twitter:Screenshot:Ryan Saavedra]

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Commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCC) Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., said Thursday the U.S. is relying on the Taliban to “protect” them from further terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan.

McKenzie said he expects more attacks following the deadly blast early Thursday morning that left several U.S. service members and Afghan civilians dead.

“We expect those attacks to continue and we’re doing everything we can to be prepared for those attacks. That includes reaching out to the Taliban who are actually providing the outer security cordon around the airfield, to make sure they know what we expect them to do to protect us. And we will continue to coordinate with them as they go forward.”

At least 12 U.S. military service members were killed and 15 were injured in explosions outside the Kabul airport, Pentagon officials confirmed.

McKenzie said it appears ISIS, not the Taliban, is responsible. (RELATED: ‘I’m Not Safe I Want To Get Out’: Marine Veteran Shares Messages From Friends Still Trying To Escape Afghanistan)

“Two suicide bombers assess to have been ISIS fighters detonated in the vicinity of the Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport and in the vicinity of the Baron hotel, which is immediately adjacent.”

“The attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number of ISIS gunmen who opened fire on civilians and military forces,” McKenzie added. “At this time we know that 12 U.S. service members have been killed in the attack and 15 more service members have been injured.”

An estimated 30-40 Afghans have also been killed in the attacks.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported citing the terrorist group’s Amaq News Agency. The release reportedly said the suicide bomber “managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the American army at ‘Baran Camp’ near Kabul Airport and detonated his explosive belt among them, killing about 60 people and wounding more than 100 others, including Taliban fighters.”

A source told Fox News that hundreds of ISIS-K militants have surrounded the airport and are expected to conduct more attacks.