The US military carried out a drone strike against what they are calling an ISIS-K planner in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province in response to the tragic suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.
“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan,” spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said Friday. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
A defense official later said the target of the drone strike who was killed was thought to be “associated with potential future attacks at the airport.” The official said “we had sufficient eyes on and sufficient knowledge” to strike before adding “he was a known entity.”
From The Hill:
ISIS-K militants claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, which occurred right outside of Abbey gate. Pentagon officials said earlier on Friday that a single attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, clarifying that a second attack had not occurred near a hotel adjacent to the airfield as was initially reported.
The drone strike, which occurred early Saturday morning local time, comes after President Biden vowed on Thursday target ISIS-K facilities “at the place we choose, in a moment of our choosing.”
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden said.
Earlier on Friday the U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned U.S. citizens who are at the airport’s Abbey gate, East gate, North gate or the New Ministry of Interior gate to “leave immediately” due to “security threats.”