Kabul attack: what is the fallout?

At least 85 people have died and 150 have been injured in the terrorist attacks in Kabul. The IS terrorist militia, which operates independently of the Taliban in Afghanistan and advocates an even more extreme interpretation of Islam, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Europe's press looks at the impact on the evacuation operations and what the attack says about the balance of power in Afghanistan.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

A foretaste of Kabul's future stance

The Taliban's reactions to the attacks are a foretaste of how they will situate themselves in international politics, Corriere della Sera concludes:

“The new masters of Kabul have reacted in a way that is both harsh and well coordinated. They make good use of Twitter. ... The main spokesperson gives us an idea of what we can expect from now on. One can imagine the grimace of contempt under under his thick beard. 'The attacks have occurred in an area where US forces are responsible for security.' We had nothing to do with it. The blame, in short, lies with these American losers. In this way a new political subject has entered the stage of international politics.”

Polityka (PL) /

David's win over Goliath attracts Islamists

Jihadism will continue to gain ground in Afghanistan, Polityka fears:

“The triumph of David (the Taliban) over Goliath (America) has proven to be an excellent tool for recruiting Muslims from all over the world for the jihad. ... And the release of thousands of extremists imprisoned by the ousted pro-Western government has provided Al-Qaeda and the IS militias with willing fighters. Both groups were in conflict with the Taliban, but it is assumed that they may come to an understanding and cooperate in this new situation.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

A bitter defeat for Biden

Joe Biden has announced retaliation for the terrorist attacks that also claimed the lives of 13 US soldiers. But he can no longer save himself, says NRC Handelsblad's US correspondent Bas Blokker:

“For Biden, only one thing mattered. Afghanistan was not to cost a single American life. ... A majority supported the decision when President Trump made it and still supports it now that President Biden is implementing it. But the way Biden is implementing it has earned him a lot of criticism. ... Until Thursday, Biden could still entertain the illusion that the mood would turn after a successfully completed evacuation. Now, however, he can never again claim that the evacuation was successful.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

An end to the rescue mission

The attacks will have immediate consequences, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung suspects:

“The discussion about an extension of the rescue mission organised by the military is probably over now. It is far more likely that this mission will end than that it will be extended. That is bitter for all those who still hope to be flown out. Once the Western soldiers have left they will be at the mercy of the Taliban.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Definitely not a safe country

Anyone who flees Afghanistan now has the right to asylum, says El Periódico de Catalunya:

“The EU's governments will no longer be able to claim that Afghanistan is a safe country with a stable regime, as they were doing until just a few days ago in order to reject asylum applications from that country. Logic dictates that both the hundred thousand or so evacuees and those who can still be rescued should be considered refugees and admitted under international law.”