US targets Islamic State member in Afghanistan in retaliatory airstrike

 On Friday, US forces retaliated against the Islamic State by launching a drone strike in Afghanistan against the terror group's Afghan affiliate, less than 48 hours after the deadly Kabul airport suicide bombing that killed at least 13 American service members and 169 Afghans.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that the operation targeted the “planner” of ISIS-K, also known as the Islamic State of Khorasan, which claimed responsibility for Thursday's horrific strike.

“The unmanned airstrike took place in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province. “Our initial indications are that we killed the target,” stated Central Command Capt. Bill Urban.

He went on to say, "We know of no civilian casualties."

Pentagon officials warned reporters earlier Friday that they were prepared to carry out any retaliatory operation ordered by the president, with Joint Staff Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor saying, "We have choices there right now."

Biden's national security staff has told the president that another terror incident is "probable" before the administration's August 31 deadline for removing all US personnel from the country, according to a White House official.

The person claimed that the “next several days of this endeavour will be the most dangerous period to date,” before adding that “maximum force protection measures” were in place at the airport, where US forces were still processing would-be evacuees and flights were still taking off and landing.

The 13 US service members killed in the bombing on Thursday were the country's first losses since February 2020. Thursday was also the bloodiest day for American troops in Afghanistan since a Chinook chopper was shot down by Taliban insurgents in August 2011.

On Thursday evening, President Biden declared he would "not forgive" and "not forget" anyone responsible for the attack, and that he had ordered US generals to organise retaliatory strikes against the group's primary assets.

"We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said in remarks from the White House on Thursday evening. “I will protect our interests and our people with every weapon at my disposal.”

According to a defence official, Biden had authorised the strike, which was then ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The drone was launched from outside Afghanistan, according to Urban, as part of an "over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation."