The Pentagon said two Islamic State militants were killed and one injured in a drone strike in Nangarhar on Friday night as part of US retaliation for a terrorist bombing at Kabul Airport.
Pentagon officials said one of the targets of Islamic State’s drones was the “planner” and the other was the “facilitator.” At a press conference on Saturday, officials did not say whether they were particularly involved in the attack on Kabul Airport, but they said they were both involved in planning an attack on Americans.
At Kabul Airport, threats to US troops and civilians remain, threatening ongoing evacuation efforts, officials said.
For the first time, Pentagon officials have publicly acknowledged that some of the people killed in the aftermath of the suicide bombing at Kabul Airport may have been killed in shootings from American military personnel after the suicide bomber exploded.
Pentagon officials had previously stated that there was a shooting after the bombing, but it was unclear where it came from. Investigators are investigating whether Shot came from an American at the gate or from an Islamic State that claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.
“We can’t confirm that,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said at a press conference on Saturday. But he added that the Pentagon was “not in a position to deny it.”
Pentagon officials did not reveal the names of Islamic State planners and facilitators who were killed in a drone strike in Nangarhar near the Pakistani border.
“They are ISIS-K planners and facilitators, and that’s good reason,” Kirby said, referring to Islamic State Korasan.
A strike carried out by a single MQ-9 Reaper drone that jumped out of a United Arab Emirates base was attacked in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar, and ISIS is known to US intelligence analysts for specific developments. -The type of attack in the Kabul area that killed K Planner, a senior U.S. military official said later.
Planners were believed to be involved in future plans for targets in Kabul, including the airport, but there was no immediate evidence that they planned an attack on Thursday outside the airport.
Officials said the planners and associates were driving in Jalalabad when the drone’s Hellfire missile killed them. A third person in a nearby building was injured in a drone explosion. No civilian casualties have been reported.
Three days before President Biden’s August 31 withdrawal deadline, US troops at Kabul Airport launched what the military called “retrograde.” This means that military personnel will board the plane and depart.
Military officials said there were about 4,000 US troops on the ground in Kabul, from a peak of 5,800. Kirby said American citizens and Afghan allies were still allowed entry into airports and departure planes.
Maria Cramer contributed to the report.