The U.S. military allegedly responded to the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Kabul. The Pentagon claimed that it had launched a drone strike in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan along the Pakistan border, thought to be a stronghold for the ISIS affiliate. It reportedly resulted in killing of an ISIS-K member.
The retaliatory strike was carried out early Saturday morning in Afghanistan. According to the report by Pentagon, the target, who was identified as “ISIS-K planner” without any other details, was eliminated.
The report did not provide any information if the “planner” was somehow involved in organization of the recent attacks in Kabul that claimed life of about 170 people, including 13 US service members.
“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. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.” – Capt. Bill Urban, USN, U.S. Central Command Spokeman.
The drone strike was carried out under the authorization by President Joe Biden and at the orders of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, according to anonymous sources of the AP.
On August 26th, President Biden vowed to “hunt down” the terrorists responsible for a spate of deadly bombings at the Kabul airport, saying that he was even open to sending US forces back into Afghanistan to assist with the withdrawal. Biden said that he had already ordered the Pentagon to prepare an operational plan to strike “ISIS-K assets.”
“Know this; We will not forgive. We will not forget. We. will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.
The answer did not take long to wait. However, a pinpoint strike that killed one terrorist who was not even blamed to be behind the explosions seems to be not enough to enhance Biden’s reputation. More such strikes by US drones should be expected in coming days.
The counter-attack on ISIS-K came hours after the US Embassy in Afghanistan urged Americans to stay away from the Kabul airport’s gates. People were asked to “leave immediately” in light of security threats at the air hub. Meanwhile, foreign forces have only 4 days left to evacuate, as the Taliban refused to extend the deadline after August 31.
On August 27th, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reported that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had been warned by their national security team that “another terror attack in Kabul is likely.”
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- “We Will Hunt You Down”: Too Little Too Late