The response was quick. The United States announced on Friday evening, August 27, that it had carried out a drone strike against a “Organizer” of the Islamic State in Khorasan (EI-K). This group had claimed responsibility for the attack perpetrated Thursday afternoon at Kabul airport, which caused the death of ten people, including thirteen American soldiers.
“The unmanned airstrike occurred in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. According to the first indications, we killed the target “, said Commander Bill Urban of the Central Command in a statement, saying he was unaware “Of no civilian victim”.
It is not yet clear that the man killed on Friday was specifically involved in Thursday’s suicide bombing outside the gates of Kabul airport, where a crowd of Afghans were desperately trying to enter to flee the fallen country. in the hands of the Taliban. The attack was claimed by the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group.
This American airstrike comes twenty-four hours after the promise made by Joe Biden to the nation. “We are going to chase you and make you pay”, had declared the president to the address of the authors of the deadliest attack in ten years against the American army in Afghanistan.
“We will respond with force and precision when we decide, where and when we choose”, he added during this solemn speech at the White House.
The response, launched from outside Afghanistan, came as evacuations continue at Kabul airport, under close surveillance. US Embassy has asked US nationals to leave ” at once “ the area around the airport in a security alert.
“US citizens currently at Abbey Gate, East Gate, North Gate or New Ministry of Interior Gate should leave immediately”, the embassy said on its website, without giving further details. The day before Thursday’s attack, a similar alert was issued.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said earlier today that the Kabul airport evacuation mission, which is supposed to end on August 31, still faces “Specific and credible threats”.
The new rulers of the country “Do not take care of any of the boarding gates or any of the operations at the airport.” It is still under the control of the American army ”Kirby said after the Taliban announced it had taken control of several parts of the airport.
More than 5,000 people still refugees at the airport
On Friday, the situation remained calm in Kabul, especially around the airport where Western chartered flights resumed. More than 5,000 people are currently taking refuge inside the airport, waiting to board a plane, US General Hank Taylor said, adding that the exfiltrations would take place. “Until the last moment”.
In total, around 109,000 people have been evacuated since August 14, the day before the Taliban took power in Kabul, according to the latest figures from the US government. NATO and the European Union had called for the evacuations to continue despite the attack.
France put an end, Friday evening, to its airlift which made it possible to evacuate “Nearly 3,000 people, including more than 2,600 Afghans” according to the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Sweden also announced on Friday that they had completed their evacuation flights, like Germany, the Netherlands, Canada or Australia before them. On the British side, exfiltrations know their “Last hours”, said Prime Minister Johnson. But London will stir ” sky and earth “ “To help get out” Afghans eligible for asylum.
The international community remains very concerned about the fate of Afghanistan. A regional conference on Saturday in Baghdad will focus on the situation in particular. The Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers, Egyptian presidents Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi and French President Emmanuel Macron, and King Abdullah II of Jordan are expected in particular. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called the permanent members of the Security Council for a meeting on Monday on the situation in Afghanistan.
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