U.S. military forces conducted a drone strike on Friday against the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan in an apparent retaliatory attack against those who claimed responsibility for the attack outside Kabul’s airport.
“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,” said Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, 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.”
Two U.S. defense officials familiar with the strike told NBC News that the target of tonight’s drone strike was an ISIS-K fighter thought to be involved in planning for future attacks. The strike was in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan, where ISIS-K had a large presence several years ago before being largely ousted by the Afghan military and the Taliban.
The unnamed ISIS-K planner was riding in a vehicle with one associate at the time of the strike, was driving in an isolated area. The defense officials said the strike was carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper drone and munitions that were selected for precision and in order to minimize any civilian casualties.