The United States announced it carried out a drone attack in eastern Afghanistan against a “planner” of an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant- Khorasan (ISIL/ISIS-K) group, after the attack outside Kabul’s airport that killed at least 175 Afghans and 13 US troops.
“US military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,” Captain Bill Urban, spokesperson for the US Central Command, said in a statement.
“The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” read the statement.
The announcement did not identify the targeted individual but indicated that this could be the first of many counter-attack at the ISIS-K targets for Thursday’s terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport.
The ISIS group had claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s Amaq News Agency said on its Telegram channel.
US President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate against Thursday’s attack in Kabul, saying that he will hunt down those responsible and make them pay.
Biden confirmed in a speech from the White House that the bombings were carried out by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), ISIL’s affiliate in Afghanistan.
“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive; we will not forget,” Biden said.
“We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests in our people with every measure at my command.”