The U.S. Military on Saturday successfully carried out a drone strike that killed two ISIS-K members in eastern Afghanistan, one of whom the Pentagon identified as an “ISIS-K planner,” according to reports.
In response to Thursday’s suicide bombings that killed roughly 170 people, including 13 U.S. service members, United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the drone strike on a vehicle that was believed to be occupied by an ISIS-K leader and an “associate.” ISIS-K is the terrorist organization who claimed responsibility for the deadly Thursday bombings.
At a Defense Department briefing on Saturday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby discussed the drone strikes. “It was a single mission to get these targets and as the assessments and information flowed over time, we were able to recognize that another was killed as well and one wounded,” he confirmed.
The drone strike comes less than two days after Joe Biden promised to “make [terrorists] pay” for the bloodshed that took American lives.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said during a national address after Thursday became the most lethal day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in over a decade.
In a statement from Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, he wrote, “The military conducted ‘an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,’ in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan.”
“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” Urban concluded.
U.S. Central Command has not confirmed whether the two ISIS-K members killed during the drone strike were directly involved in the suicide bombings which killed the 13 U.S. service members.
The Biden administration has said that the U.S. is still assisting with evacuations of American citizens and Afghan allies and plans to have a complete withdrawal from the country by Aug. 31. According to the White House, between 3 a.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday, 12,500 people were evacuated from the city of Kabul.
The Pentagon reportedly confirmed that just 600 U.S. citizens are still awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.