Navy says ‘initial indications’ show it killed ISIS-K planner
The U.S. launched an apparent drone strike Friday against ISIS-K in retaliation for the terrorist organization’s suicide attack that killed 13 American service members Thursday outside the Kabul airport.
“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesman, said in a statement. “The unmanned air strike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul cited security threats and advised Americans not to travel to the airport or congregate outside the airport’s gates.
And during a 12-hour period Friday, the U.S. evacuated at least 4,200 people from Afghanistan as Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline came closer.
U.S. Army Major Gen. William “Hank” Taylor said Friday that about 5,400 people are at the capital city’s airport and awaiting flights out of Afghanistan.
“ISIS will not deter us from accomplishing this mission,” Gen. Taylor said during a briefing.
On Friday, the White House issued a statement saying the U.S. has helped to evacuate approximately 109,200 people from the nation since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban took over Kabul.
Meanwhile, several hundred Americans remain uncertain about whether to leave Afghanistan, the State Department reported Friday.
Spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the State Department remains in communication with those Americans. He said they gave various reasons for not having made a decision, but noted the number who may have family in Afghanistan is “relatively small.”