American officials say the US has carried out a drone strike targeting an ISIS-K ‘planner’ in Afghanistan, in retaliation for a bombing outside Kabul Airport.
More than 170 people were killed in the bomb attack on Thursday – including more than 100 Afghans, 13 American troops and two British nationals.
The ISIS-K group – affiliated with the wider Islamic State and hostile to the Taliban – is believed to be behind the attack.
In a statement, Capt Bill Urban – spokesman for U.S. Central Command – said: “U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner.
“The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
US President Joe Biden has vowed to track down those responsible for the attack outside Kabul airport and ‘make them pay’.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said the US is working with the Taliban now to prevent further attacks in Afghanistan.
She said: “This is the circumstance we’re faced with – the Taliban controls large swaths of the country.
“In order to get American citizens out, our Afghan partners out, green card holders out… we need to coordinate with the Taliban.
“This is not a preferred relationship or a situation that we would have designed if we had started from scratch. I think that’s very clear. But right now, we need to continue to coordinate.”
The Biden administration has set this coming Tuesday as the final deadline for their troops to leave Afghanistan.
With an ever-decreasing international presence in Kabul, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said work will continue to try to help dozens of Irish citizens and residents leave Afghanistan.