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U.S. Says Drone Strike Kills ISIS Bombers Targeting Kabul Airport

U.S. Says Drone Strike Kills ISIS Bombers Targeting Kabul Airport

U.S. Says Drone Strike Kills ISIS Bombers Targeting Kabul Airport

Mere ours after President Joe Biden warned it was “highly likely” there would be another terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul, a U.S. drone strike blew up a vehicle filled with explosives in the Afghan capital on Sunday. The vehicle was carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate who were planning to strike the Kabul International Airport amid the ongoing evacuation efforts, according to U.S. officials. The strike targeted “an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command. “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.” Earlier in the day, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had warned of a “specific, credible threat” to the area surrounding the Kabul airport.

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The strike was carried out two days before the U.S. is scheduled to conclude its withdrawal from Afghanistan. And it came three days after the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. On Sunday, President travelled to Delaware to join the families of the American troops killed in the attack as the remains of their loved ones arrived at Dover Air Force Base. Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, met with families and then participated in what is known as a “dignified transfer,” which is when the bodies of slain service members are moved form an airplane to a vehicle. Biden witnessed 11 of the 13 transfers as two families had requested privacy. The dead, who ranged in age from 20 to 31, included 11 Marines, a Navy medic, and a member of the Army. “The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others,” Biden said in a statement. “Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”

As the U.S. military prepares to leave Afghanistan, the State Department released a statement signed by some 100 countries saying the Taliban had given “assurances” that people with the appropriate travel documents would still be allowed to leave Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal on Tuesday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is working with other countries to make sure the Kabul airport continues to operate normally after the U.S. withdrawal. Blinken also said the United States is unlikely to keep diplomats in Afghanistan after the U.S. military leaves. “In terms of having an on-the-ground diplomatic presence on Sept. 1, that’s not likely to happen,” Blinken said on NBC’s Meet the Press. But he insisted the United States will still be committed to helping “people leave Afghanistan who want to leave.”

Mere ours after President Joe Biden warned it was “highly likely” there would be another terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul, a U.S. drone strike blew up a vehicle filled with explosives in the Afghan capital on Sunday. The vehicle was carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate who were planning to strike the Kabul International Airport amid the ongoing evacuation efforts, according to U.S. officials. The strike targeted “an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command. “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.” Earlier in the day, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had warned of a “specific, credible threat” to the area surrounding the Kabul airport.

The strike was carried out two days before the U.S. is scheduled to conclude its withdrawal from Afghanistan. And it came three days after the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. On Sunday, President travelled to Delaware to join the families of the American troops killed in the attack as the remains of their loved ones arrived at Dover Air Force Base. Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, met with families and then participated in what is known as a “dignified transfer,” which is when the bodies of slain service members are moved form an airplane to a vehicle. Biden witnessed 11 of the 13 transfers as two families had requested privacy. The dead, who ranged in age from 20 to 31, included 11 Marines, a Navy medic, and a member of the Army. “The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others,” Biden said in a statement. “Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”

As the U.S. military prepares to leave Afghanistan, the State Department released a statement signed by some 100 countries saying the Taliban had given “assurances” that people with the appropriate travel documents would still be allowed to leave Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal on Tuesday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is working with other countries to make sure the Kabul airport continues to operate normally after the U.S. withdrawal. Blinken also said the United States is unlikely to keep diplomats in Afghanistan after the U.S. military leaves. “In terms of having an on-the-ground diplomatic presence on Sept. 1, that’s not likely to happen,” Blinken said on NBC’s Meet the Press. But he insisted the United States will still be committed to helping “people leave Afghanistan who want to leave.”

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