In the early morning of August 28th, U.S. forces conducted a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan’s province of Nangahar in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul that reportedly claimed lives of about 170 people, including 13 U.S. servicemen. According to Pentagon’s preliminary reports “one ISIS-K planner” was killed. Later the number of victims grew up to two. However, Pentagon refuses to release names of the killed ‘high-profile’ ISIS planners.
The first victim was reportedly involved in plotting of future attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but there is still no prove that he was somehow linked to August 26 bombings in Kabul.
Later, the representative of the US Department of Defense claimed that another member of the ISIS-K was also killed in the U.S. counterterrorism operation, and one more terrorist was wounded.
It was added that there was no coordination with the Taliban ahead of the strike.
MG Taylor: Yesterday, U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation against an ISIS-K planner and facilitator. […] I can confirm now that two high-profile ISIS targets were killed, one wounded, and we know of zero civilian casualties. pic.twitter.com/VTEtsamXzl
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) August 28, 2021
According to the footage shared on social media that is reportedly showing the spot of the U.S. drone attack, ISIS planner was targeted while driving a vehicle along with his associate. The site is located in PD-7 of Jalalabad city. According to some local sources the strike took place around the midnight.
However, no information about the victims or who leaved in the targeted house was not released by Pentagon, or other sources.
The effectiveness of the operation is at least questionable. In his speech Adm. John Kirby claimed that ISIS-K “have lost some capability to plan and conduct missions” though “the threat stream is still active” and the strike doesn’t “get us in the clear.” It may be concluded that the drone strike was simply “symbolic” and will not likely somehow ameliorate public perception of Biden’s policy towards Afghanistan, if only it is not followed by a larger operation.
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