The US military said on Saturday that it carried out a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan against an ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) cell, killing a “planner” of this week’s terrorist attack at Kabul airport.
In a statement, US Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban stated, “US military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner.”
Captain Urban said the unmanned airstrike occurred in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
The statement did not name the person targeted, but it suggested that this might be the first of many ISIS-K reprisals for the terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport on Thursday.
Over 100 people, including 13 US service members and 22 Taliban fighters, were killed in the attacks.
The attacks were claimed by ISIS-K, triggering an instant reaction from US President Joe Biden, who spoke to the country on Thursday evening and promised to punish the perpetrators.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” the president declared.
Biden also ordered American military commanders to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K “assets, leadership and facilities.”
The airport attack was one of the deadliest in the US-led war in Afghanistan, which has lasted almost two decades.
At a Friday afternoon news briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that terrorists were preparing another attack in Kabul.
“The threat is ongoing, and it is active. Our troops are still in danger,” she said.
The attack on the Kabul airport has infuriated Americans who were already angry with the Biden administration over the fall of Kabul last week.
President Biden’s pledge to “hunt down” the terrorists responsible for the attack
The US Embassy in Kabul issued a late Friday warning to US citizens still at the Kabul airport to “leave immediately.”