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Pentagon: Two 'high-profile' Daesh targets killed in strike

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
American Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, deputy director of the US Joint Staff for regional operations

The Pentagon has said that the US military strike killed two "high-profile" Daesh targets and injured another, describing the two targets as "planners and facilitators," of Thursday’s deadly bombing at the Kabul airport.

Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, deputy director of the Joint Staff for regional operations, said in a press briefing on Saturday that US officials would not release additional information on the targets' specific roles within the terrorist group, nor their level of involvement in the bombing that killed about a dozen American troops and scores of Afghan civilians at Kabul airport.

A day earlier, US Central Command said the drone strike was carried out in Nangarhar Province, east of the capital Kabul and bordering Pakistan, on Friday.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Saturday that "as the assessments and information flowed over time, we were able to recognize that another was killed as well, and one wounded."

He said the strike was part of ongoing anti-terrorism efforts and a revenge attack for Thursday's bombing.

"We have the ability to conduct over-the-horizon counterterrorism capabilities," he said, while adding, "it's not a coincidence that it happened just a couple of days after we lost 13 brave service members."

Kirby said that while Daesh-K had "lost some capability to plan and to conduct missions" following the America strike, but “the threat stream is still active, still dynamic.”

"We're still laser-focused on that, and force protection, and we aren't thinking for a minute that what happened yesterday gets us in the clear, not a minute,” he added.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official said on Friday the strike was against a member of the Takfiri terrorist group planning future attacks in Afghanistan.

The official said the drone struck the terrorist while he was in a car with an associate, and that both are believed to have been killed.

The Thursday’s attack on Kabul airport claimed by Daesh killed at least 180 people, including 13 US service members — the deadliest for American forces in Afghanistan in over a decade.

The attack took place as Afghans and foreign nationals were awaiting evacuation flights, two weeks after the hasty withdrawal of American forces and the ensuing takeover of the country by the Taliban militant group.


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