According to officials, the US Military conducted a drone strike on ISIS terrorists in Kabul on Sunday, “eliminating an imminent” threat to the airport.
The attack was reportedly on a car carrying “multiple suicide bombers” en route to the airport.
“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban wrote in a statement.
“We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” he added.
“We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time. We remain vigilant for potential future threats,” Bill Urban continued.
The strike comes just hours after the US State Department issued an emergency alert in Afghanistan in the early morning hours of Sunday, warning US citizens to leave the airport and the surrounding area immediately due to a serious threat.
“Due to a specific, credible threat, all U.S. citizens in the vicinity of Kabul airport (HKIA), including the South (Airport Circle) gate, the new Ministry of the Interior, and the gate near the Panjshir Petrol station on the northwest side of the airport, should leave the airport area immediately,” the department said. “U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid all airport gates at this time.”
ISIS is likely to try to continue attacks
President Joe Biden had warned on Saturday afternoon that his intelligence officials warned that the situation on the ground was “extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high.”
“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” he added.
The Sunday strike comes after the US military launched a separate attack on ISIS terrorists on Friday, killing two terrorists described as “high profile” by the administration.
Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Thursday that ISIS is likely to try to continue attacks before the evacuations conclude.
“We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue,” the four-star general told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that the U.S. was monitoring an “extremely active threat stream against the airfield.”
McKenzie, who oversees U.S. military operations in the region, said the threats against Western forces and civilians at the airport ranged from gunfire to rockets to suicide bombings.
“So very, very real threat streams, what we would call tactical that means imminent, could occur at any moment,” he said. McKenzie said that he did not foresee requesting additional U.S. troops for the mission.