The United States says it carried out a military strike on Sunday against an “imminent ISIS-K threat” to the airport in Kabul, a development that comes in the final days of an immense humanitarian evacuation mission.
The Pentagon confirmed the airstrike after multiple news organizations reported an explosion in a residential neighborhood near the airport. A U.S. official said the airstrike hit a vehicle that included a suicide bomber.
“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.
There were no known civilian casualties following the strike.
The latest strike follows a Friday drone strike that killed two high-profile ISIS-K members believed to be involved in planning attacks against U.S. forces in Kabul. Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor said that there were no known civilian casualties following the strike.
Friday’s strike came less than two days after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive near the gates of Kabul’s airport, resulting in the deaths of 13 American service members.
The White House said Sunday that the president and first lady will meet with the families of the fallen and observe a dignified transfer of the remains at Dover Air Force Base.
A dignified transfer is a solemn process in which the remains of fallen service members are carried from an aircraft to an awaiting vehicle. A dignified transfer is conducted for every U.S. service member killed in action.