U.S. forces carried out a drone strike on an ISIS-K target in eastern Afghanistan today. ISIS-K is the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed more than 170 people, including 13 U.S. service members, at the Kabul airport.
A U.S. military spokesman said:
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. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties
Did the ISIS-K “planner” plan Thursday’s attack at the airport? It’s not clear. A U.S. official said the “planner” was believed to be working on “future attacks.”
Either way, it’s good news that we took out the guy. If he belonged to the group that claimed responsibility for the attack, then planner or not, I’m happy he’s no longer with us.
It’s also good news that we still have the ability to take out particular terrorists in Afghanistan. I hope we take out more ISIS-K members on our way out. But whether we’ll retain the ability to do this for long once we’ve left the country is questionable.
I’m not sure, once we’re gone, we’ll have meaningful intelligence about the identity and location of any terrorists in Afghanistan other that which the Taliban may choose to give us if it wants us to eliminate rival terrorists it can’t reach.
Unfortunately, the Taliban continues to work closely with at least one group that engages in terrorism against the West.