U.S., Allies Attack Afghanistan
The president said targets included military and intelligence bases belonging to the country’s Taliban rulers and the al-Qaida network of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden is the prime suspect in last month’s attacks on New York and Washington that killed an estimated 5,600 people.
“On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaida terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” the president said.
“These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime,” he added.
The president did not specify where inside the country the attacks were taking place.
President Bush said today’s strikes are only the beginning of a larger campaign against terrorism.
“Today we focus on Afghanistan,” the president said, “but the battle is broader.”
The U.S. did not ask for this fight, Mr. Bush said, but “we will win it.”
The strikes follow repeated warnings from U.S. officials including the president telling the Taliban to turn over bin Laden or face U.S. strikes.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair last week echoed Mr. Bush’s sentiments, telling the Taliban they must “surrender the terrorists; or surrender power. It’s your choice.”