U.S. Marines provide assistance at an Evacuation Control Checkpoint (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, August 22, 2021.
US Marines | Reuters
WASHINGTON – The United States carried out a military strike on Sunday against an ISIS-K target in Kabul, a development that comes in the final days of an immense humanitarian evacuation mission.
“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” U.S. Central Command spokesman U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Urban wrote in a statement.
“We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”
The latest strike follows a Friday drone strike that killed two high-profile ISIS-K members in Afghanistan.
Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Thursday that ISIS is likely to try to continue attacks before the evacuations conclude.
“We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue,” the four-star general told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that the U.S. was monitoring an “extremely active threat stream against the airfield.”
McKenzie, who oversees U.S. military operations in the region, said the threats against Western forces and civilians at the airport ranged from gunfire to rockets to suicide bombings.
“So very, very real threat streams, what we would call tactical that means imminent, could occur at any moment,” he said. McKenzie said that he did not foresee requesting additional U.S. troops for the mission.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.