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The Pentagon says its retaliatory airstrike killed 2 ISIS members: a ‘planner’ and a ‘facilitator’

pentagon john kirby general hank taylor
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, right, speaks as Army Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor, left, listens during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, on the situation in Afghanistan.

  • Pentagon officials said Saturday that a US airstrike killed two prominent ISIS-K targets.
  • One of the targets was a “planner” and the other was a “facilitator,” a Pentagon official said.
  • Biden warned Saturday that the retaliatory strike “was not the last.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Pentagon announced Saturday that Friday’s retaliatory airstrike against the Islamic State group in Afghanistan killed two high-profile ISIS-K members and wounded a third.

Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby told reporters at a press conference that the targets who were killed were a “planner” and a “facilitator.”

It’s unclear whether the ISIS-K members had been involved in planning the attack at the Kabul airport, but Pentagon officials said Saturday both individuals had been planning to attack Americans. They did not identify the targets.

“The fact that two of these individuals are no longer walking the face of the earth – that’s a good thing,” Kirby said.

Kirby added that there were no civilian casualties from the strike.

The US’s airstrike was in response to ISIS-K, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members.

President Joe Biden said in a statement on Saturday that Friday’s retaliatory strike “was not the last.”

He continued: “We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.”

Biden also warned there was still a high likelihood of more terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport ahead of the planned troop withdrawal date of August 31.

“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” Biden said. “Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”

Biden said evacuations remain ongoing up until August 31. He said another 6,800 people were evacuated on Friday, including hundreds of Americans.

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