The U.S. military conducted an airstrike to kill a member of the terrorist group ISIS Khorasan or ISIS-K, in Afghanistan on Friday, Aug. 27, one day after President Joe Biden vowed retribution against its deadly attack outside 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 Nangahar Province of Afghanistan,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban announced in a statement.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” the spokesman said.
The Pentagon used a drone to strike a vehicle carrying the ISIS-K leader who it is believed intended to be “carrying out future attacks,” a U.S. official briefed on the strike told Fox News.
The ISIS-K planner was reportedly hit while traveling with an associate near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Associated Press cited a defense official saying that President Biden authorized the drone strike, and it was ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The airstrike took place after ISIS-K, an affiliate of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed 13 U.S. service members and wounded 20 others. Biden threatened the perpetrators that, “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
The White House has warned of more attacks from ISIS as the U.S. evacuation from Kabul airport is moving towards its deadline next Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s national security team “advised the president and vice president that another terror attack in Kabul is likely, but that they are taking maximum force protection measures at the Kabul airport.”
Psaki said the mission to evacuate Americans and vulnerable Afghan allies in the next few days “will be the most dangerous period to date.”