US confirmed that it killed two major ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan

US confirmed that it killed two major ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan

The Pentagon announced this Saturday that “two important targets” from the Islamic State (ISIS) group, an “organizer” and an “operator”, were killed while another was wounded in a US drone strike in Afghanistan, without revealing their names.

“I can confirm, now that we have received more information, that two major ISIS targets were killed and another was wounded,” in the attack launched from outside Afghanistan, said the US general Hank Taylor. “As far as we know, there are no civilian casualties, ” he added.

The United States attacked the planner of the attack that killed at least 170 people with a drone, among them 13 US soldiers, on Thursday at the Kabul airport, US military spokesmen reported.

The target was a ringleader of the Afghan branch of the Islamic State, who claimed responsibility for the attack. The operation took place in the province of Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan.

US military forces carried out a counterterrorism operation on the horizon against an ISIS-K planner.” Said the captain before Bill Urban, a spokesman for the United States Central Command, in a statement. He was referring to the Islamic State ally in Afghanistan, also known as Islamic State Khorasan.

The unmanned aerial attack occurred in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.” Said Urban.

The Pentagon reported this Friday that the Kabul airport was the target of a suicide bomber and not two, as had initially been reported.

The president of United States, Joe Biden, had promised revenge against the perpetrators of the attack, whom he assured that he would persecute them and make them pay for the attacks.

Afghan evacuees board Italian C130J military plane during evacuation at Kabul airport, Afghanistan.
Afghan evacuees board Italian C130J military plane during evacuation at Kabul airport, Afghanistan.

The US will continue with the evacuations in Kabul until August 31 despite threats

The American armed forces, now under increased security and also under threat of another terrorist attack, they went ahead with the evacuation from Kabul airport on Friday, the day after a suicide bombing at the gates of the air terminal wrote a devastating final chapter to the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

The White House and the Pentagon they warned there could be more bloodshed before Tuesday, the deadline imposed by President Joe Biden to end the airlift and withdraw US forces. The next few days “will be our most dangerous period to date” in the evacuation, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Thursday’s bombing was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks the country has seen. The United States said it was the deadliest day for US forces in Afghanistan since 2011.

As the call to prayer echoed in Kabul Friday along with the roar of departing planes, the eager crowds that flocked to the airport in hopes of escaping from Taliban rule seemed more numerous than ever, despite the bloody scenes seen the day before.

Afghans as well as American citizens and other foreigners were well aware that time was running out to get out via the airlift.

Jamshad went to the airport with his wife and three young children. He firmly held an invitation to a Western country that he did not want to identify.

After the explosion I decided that I would give it a try. Because I’m afraid that now there will be more attacks, and I think that now I have to go.” Said Jamshad, who like many Afghans only uses one name.

US soldiers in the evacuation of people.
US soldiers in the evacuation of people.

The Pentagon said Friday that there was only one suicide bomber – at the airport gate – and not two, as US officials initially reported. A US official noted that the attacker was wearing a larger than usual explosive charge of about 12 kilos, loaded with shrapnel, which would explain the high number of victims.

The US official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary assessments of the attack. The officials who gave the Afghan death toll were not authorized to speak to the media and also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Among the Afghan victims were the founder of a news agency and several impoverished Afghans that they had come to the airport in the hope of getting a better life.

Details about the deceased Americans – 11 Marines, a Navy sailor and an Army soldier – also began to emerge, before the Pentagon released their names. Among them was a young Wyoming Marine whose wife is expecting a child from him.

British officials said that two citizens of their country and the son of another Briton were also among the dead when the bomb exploded in the middle of the crowd.

The morning after the attack, the Taliban used a pickup truck full of fighters and three captured Humvees to set up a barrier 500 meters from the airport, keeping crowds further away than before the gates where the American troops are.

US military officials said some doors were closed and other security measures were applied. They clarified that there were stricter restrictions on Taliban checkpoints and fewer people around the gates.

The military said they had also asked the Taliban to close certain roads due to the possibility of suicide bombers in vehicles..

The Pentagon noted that the airport already had defenses in place against rocket attacks and said the United States would maintain manned and unmanned flights over the airport for surveillance and protection, including the use of AC-130 heavily armed ground attack aircraft.

US officials said evacuees with proper credentials were still allowed to pass through the gates. Inside, some 5,400 people were waiting for evacuation flights.

In Washington, US commanders briefed Biden on the development of plans to counterattack the Islamic State and fulfill the president’s promise to hunt down the attackers and “make them pay”.

Ben Oakley
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