Monday February 06, 2023

Zawahiri killing boosts Biden on Afghan exit anniversary

August 03, 2022

WASHINGTON: Weeks before the first anniversary of a retreat from Afghanistan that critics said exposed President Joe Biden’s weakness, he shrugged off both Covid and critics to announce the killing in Kabul of al-Qaeda’s leader -- an operation the Democrat says shows the US remains as strong as ever.

"When I ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, I made the decision that after 20 years of war, the United States no longer needed thousands of boots on the ground in Afghanistan," Biden told the nation late on Monday as he announced the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

"I made a promise to the American people that we’d continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations... We’ve done just that." Announcing jihadist leader deaths has become a ritual -- both somber and highly political -- for presidents ever since the attacks of September 11, 2001.