Two leaders of the Islamic State-Khorasan, the arm of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, were killed in drone attacks carried out by the United States on Saturday (28). In addition to these two, a third leader of the terrorist group was injured. The US military said the three were involved in planning and carrying out the suicide bombing outside Kabul airport on Thursday.
There may be new operations, according to news agencies.
The drone bombings were carried out in Nangarhar province, a mountainous region of Afghanistan.
It was in retaliation, as less than 48 hours earlier there was a suicide attack that killed 169 Afghans and 13 US military personnel at the Kabul airport. This attack was claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan. In Afghanistan, this group and the Taliban are enemies.
The death toll in the Kabul airport attack exceeds 180
Initially, the US claimed that it had attacked a “planner” in Afghanistan. US military personnel said shortly after the attack that there were indications that they had managed to kill the person they were targeting.
Residents of the city of Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar, said they heard explosions of an air raid around midnight, but it was not possible to say what the source was.
A Taliban commander claimed that some members of the Islamic State-Khorasan were arrested in connection with the attack in Kabul.
US will attack whenever they want
Pentagon leaders told reporters on Friday that they were prepared for any retaliatory action the president ordered.
“We have options there now,” said the Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor of the Pentagon Joint Staff.
Also on Friday, the US government asked its citizens to “immediately” leave the gates of Kabul airport. The Pentagon said the risky evacuation operation by the Americans and Afghan allies continued to face “specific and reliable threats.”
“US citizens who are now at the Abbey gate, the East gate, the North gate or the gate of the New Interior Office must leave immediately,” the US embassy in Kabul said in a security alert.
Islamic State-K x Taliban
The Islamic State-Khorasan, also known by its acronym in English, Isis-k, is the Afghan arm of the Islamic State. “Khorasan” is a historical name for the region that includes parts of where Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia are currently located.
EI-K has claimed some of the most violent attacks of recent years in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The group massacred civilians in both countries in mosques, shrines, squares and even hospitals, as well as carrying out attacks on Muslims from wards it considers heretics – in particular the Shiites.
While the EI-K and the Taliban are hard-line Sunni Islamic militants, they are also rivals and diverge on issues of religion and strategy. Each claims to represent the true banner of Jihad.
The differences have sparked bloody clashes, which the Taliban have generally emerged victorious from since 2019, when EI-Khorasan was unable to control territory as its parent group in the Middle East did.
In a sign of enmity among jihadist groups, ISIS communiqués refer to the Taliban as apostates.