White House touts al-Zawahiri killing as vindicating Biden’s selection to go away Afghanistan

National safety adviser Jake Sullivan referred to as the strike a “achievement.”

The White House on Tuesday endured to focus on what it stated turned into President Joe Biden’s “achievement” in killing Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda chief concerned withinside the making plans the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, announcing it “has absolutely made the US safer.”

National safety adviser Jake Sullivan additionally stated on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the strike vindicated Biden’s arguable and chaotic withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan closing August.

“It has tested the president proper while he stated 365 days in the past that we did now no longer want to maintain heaps of American troops in Afghanistan combating and loss of life in a 20-yr conflict with the intention to keep terrorists at threat and to defeat threats to the US,” Sullivan stated.

The White House additionally launched a brand new image it stated confirmed Biden withinside the Situation Room on July 1 getting briefed briefed at the proposed operation through CIA director William Burns and being proven a version of the secure residence in which al-Zawahiri turned into hiding.

A White House reliable later showed to ABC News that the closed timber field at the desk withinside the image contained the dimensions version of the residence.


When Biden introduced al-Zawahiri’s loss of life on Monday in an cope with from the White House, he said “justice has been delivered” and he made a factor of announcing he were cautious earlier than approving the strike that no civilians could be killed.

A U.S. reliable showed to ABC News that the CIA accomplished the operation.

A separate senior management reliable stated Monday there has been no indication of absolutely everyone else harmed through the 2 Hellfire missiles fired from a drone, missiles with rotating blades that use kinetic power to kill, specific from big explosions, to restriction collateral damage.

But and not using a U.S. forces at the floor, it turned into doubtful how the management will be positive of that.

Al-Zawahiri turned into killed at about 9:forty eight p.m. on July 30 at the balcony of his secure residence in downtown Kabul after months of making plans amongst numerous elements of the counterterrorism community, a senior management reliable advised newshounds Monday.

Biden turned into first briefed on al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts again in April, the reliable advised newshounds, and acquired updates at the improvement of the goal at some point of May and June.

Biden convened numerous different conferences together along with his key advisers and Cabinet contributors withinside the weeks that accompanied to cautiously scrutinize the intelligence and compare the fine path of action, the reliable stated.

A very last assembly turned into hung on July 25, throughout which Biden legal the strike.

The White House picturegraph of Biden turned into harking back to a comparable picturegraph of President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton withinside the Situation Room looking the 2011 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.


While this maximum latest strike turned into in large part applauded through contributors of Congress, Republicans targeted on what they referred to as Biden’s “disastrous withdrawal” from Afghanistan that they are saying reopened the door for al-Qaeda withinside the united states of america.


“It is noteworthy in which [al-Zawahiri] turned into in Kabul,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated in a ground speech on Tuesday. “So, al-Qaeda is again because of the Taliban being again in strength and describing the present day scenario in Afghanistan as a achievement is fully absurd.”

McConnell stated the “precipitous selection” to do away with U.S. troops from Afghanistan has “produced the go back of the situations that have been there earlier than 9/11.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is disturbing a direct intelligence briefing for Congress at the “viable reemergence” of the terrorist organization. Rep. Mike McCaul, who sits at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, went to this point as to mention Biden lied to the American human beings while he stated closing yr al-Qaeda turned into “gone” from Afghanistan.

Sullivan driven again at the grievance on “Good Morning America,” declaring the drone strike is evidence the U.S. can retain to move after its enemies “over the horizon” with out endangering American carrier contributors.

“There isn’t a unmarried American in harm’s manner in that united states of america in uniform and there has been no person at the floor in uniform while this strike happened and but we have been capable of take Ayman al-Zawahiri off the battlefield,” Sullivan advised GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos. “I could name that a successful, powerful coverage that protects our troops, protects our human beings and guarantees that Afghanistan will now no longer be a secure haven for terrorists.”


But questions continue to be approximately how the U.S. will reply to the Taliban’s moves in sheltering al-Zawahiri. Senior contributors of the Taliban have been privy to his presence in Kabul this yr, the senior management reliable advised newshounds Monday.

The reliable additionally stated Haqqani Taliban contributors took moves after the airstrike to hide al-Zawahiri’s presence on the place and acted speedy to do away with al-Zawahiri’s wife, his daughter and her youngsters to some other place constant with a broader attempt to cowl up that they were dwelling withinside the secure residence.

Sullivan stated the U.S. is in direct communique with the Taliban however did now no longer screen any specifics on how precisely the Taliban may be held responsible.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby additionally declined to offer extra info on what unique steps the U.S. will take to keep the Taliban responsible throughout Tuesday’s press briefing, however stated the “strike itself indicates how severe we’re approximately accountability.”

“It indicates how severe we’re approximately protecting our interests,” Kirby added.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Monday the Taliban “grossly” violated the Doha Agreement through sheltering al-Zawahiri. In the 2020 agreement, the Taliban stated they would not harbor al-Qaeda contributors.

“They additionally betrayed the Afghan human beings and their personal said preference for reputation from and normalization with the worldwide community,” Blinken stated. “In the face of the Taliban’s unwillingness or incapability to abide through their commitments, we are able to retain to aid the Afghan human beings with sturdy humanitarian help and to endorse for the safety in their human rights, mainly of girls and girls.”

Despite the Taliban’s sheltering of al-Zawahiri, Kirby advised ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega that Afghanistan will “never” come to be a secure haven for terrorists.

“If you have been to invite the contributors of al-Qaeda, ask them how secure they experience in Afghanistan proper now,” Kirby stated. “I assume we proved … this weekend that it isn’t always a secure haven and it isn’t always going to be going forward.”