Acting swiftly on President Joe Biden’s promise to retaliate for the deadly blasts at Kabul airport, the US military on Saturday said it used a airstrike to kill a member of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.
The airstrike was launched from beyond Afghanistan less than 48 hours after the devastating Kabul attack that killed 13 Americans and scores of Afghans with just days left in a final U.S. withdrawal
The development come amidst what the White House called indications that the IS planned to strike again as the US-led evacuation from Kabul airport moved into its final days.
Biden authorized the drone strike and it was ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a defense official said.
The speed with which the US military retaliated reflected its close monitoring of the IS and years of experience in targeting extremists in remote parts of the world. But it also shows the limits of US power to eliminate extremist threats, which some believe will have more freedom of movement in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is in power.