Joe Biden praised the “courage and skill” of the US special forces who carried out the raid that led to the murder of Osama bin Laden, in remarks marking the 10th anniversary of the death of the former Al chief. -Qaida.
Bin Laden was shot dead by a team of Navy Seals at a secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
Mr. Biden, then vice president, was in the White House situation room watching US special forces raid with former President Barack Obama.
In a statement released on Sunday, the US president described the moment as “I will never forget” and praised “the soldiers who carried out the raid at the risk of their lives.”
“It was almost 10 years since our nation was attacked on September 11 and we went to war in Afghanistan, in pursuit of Al Qaeda and its leaders,” Biden said. “We followed Bin Laden to the gates of hell – and we got it. “
Praising Mr. Obama, the President went on to say that “we have kept the promise made to all those who lost loved ones on September 11” and that “the United States will never falter in its commitment to prevent a new attack on our homeland and ensure the safety of the American people.
The anniversary comes a day after US forces officially began to withdraw from Afghanistan, as announced by Biden, who described the conflict as a “war forever”, two weeks ago.
“Now, as a result of these efforts,” said the president of the bin Laden assassination, “as we end America’s longest war and withdraw the last of our troops from Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is greatly degraded there. “
The May 1 start date for the US withdrawal follows a long-standing deal between Afghan forces, a Taliban insurgent, and Donald Trump’s administration.
By September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that catapulted the United States into war against terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Iraq – no American or NATO forces will remain in the country.
Mr. Obama, who oversaw the raid on bin Laden in 2011, wrote in a 2020 memoir that not everyone in his administration agreed with the operation – including Mr. Biden.
“Joe also weighed in against the raid, arguing that given the enormous consequences of failure, I should postpone any decision until the intelligence community is more certain that bin Laden was in the compound,” wrote Mr. Obama.
“[I] appreciated Joe’s willingness to turn the prevailing mood around and ask tough questions, often in the interest of giving me the space I needed for my own internal deliberations, ”Mr. Obama added in the book .
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