The United States launched its first punishment operation on Saturday against targets of the local branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan (ISIS-K). The attack, in retaliation for the brutal attack carried out on Thursday by the jihadist group in Kabul, which cost the lives of dozens of people, has been carried out using a drone and has targeted a terrorist group’s base of operations in eastern Afghanistan, as confirmed by the Pentagon. Two “high-profile” targets of the organization were killed in the attack and another person was injured, according to Army Major General William Taylor at a press conference.
At first, the Pentagon had only reported the death of one ISIS-K member. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not want to specify the role of these people within the organization: “They were planners and facilitators.”
“I can confirm, as more information has come in, that two high-profile ISIS targets were killed and one was injured. And we know that there have been no civilian casualties, “said General Taylor, who,” without detailing any future plans, “has ensured that the United States will maintain its ability to defend itself and carry out anti-terrorist operations” as necessary. ”
The Pentagon had reported this Saturday through a statement that the attack took place in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, a stronghold of the terrorist group. “United States military forces have carried out a counterterrorism operation against an organizer of ISIS-K,” revealed Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for the Central Command in a statement.
“The first indications indicate that we have killed the target. There is no record of civilian casualties, ”according to the note. Hours later, the Pentagon clarified that two militants had been killed – in a single operation – and a third had been wounded, without answering whether the mastermind behind the attacks was among them.
The punishment action takes place 24 hours after the president, Joe Biden, promised to hunt down the perpetrators of the Kabul attack , which has cost the lives of 13 US servicemen and wounded almost a dozen. “We will not forgive or forget. We will hunt down the terrorists and make them pay for this, ”Biden announced. His intention to avenge the deaths of the soldiers was confirmed this Friday by the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki: “The president does not want [terrorists] to step on the face of the earth again.”
A US official, quoted by Reuters on condition of anonymity, explained that the drone took off from the Middle East and attacked a militant while he was in a car with another member of the Islamic State. In Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, a community elder, Malik Adib, said three people were killed and four wounded in the midnight airstrike on Friday. “Among the victims are women and children,” Adib told Reuters, although he had no information about his identity.
Asked if the objective of the operation were the two militants or a single one who turned out to be accompanied by the other, Kirby declined to give details of the operation citing security reasons, but assured that it was a single intervention. Regarding the evidence they had to qualify them as “high profile” militants, he referred to the intelligence collected and their activities in the past.
The US response comes on the same day that the Pentagon has issued an alert regarding the possibility of a new attack on the Kabul airport. Military spokesman John Kirby told reporters: “We are prepared, in anticipation of future attacks.” “We follow these specific threats very closely in real time.
Our troops are in danger, “he said of the 5,800 soldiers deployed at the airport to guarantee evacuation operations, which will officially conclude next Tuesday. In the meeting with the members of the National Security Council, Biden was informed of the ongoing plans to identify the possible targets of ISIS, according to Psaki in his appearance.
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