In a purposefully “remarkable” turnaround for Biden’s catastrophic evacuation of Afghanistan, where the intelligence never even considered the option of a Taliban surge thus handing over the country to the militant Islamists on a silver platter, late on Friday the US said its intelligence had finally redeemed itself when it carried out a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan against an Isis-K “planner” behind the deadly attack on Kabul airport on Thursday, even as countries wrap up desperate efforts to evacuate thousands of Afghans trying to flee, potentially sparking an even more aggressive retaliation from the organization.
“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner,” said Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command. He added that the unmanned assault took place in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province, east of Kabul. The target was killed by a Reaper drone while traveling in a vehicle.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target,” Urban said in a statement. “We know of no civilian casualties.”
It wasn’t clear what said “indications” were or what evidence the Biden admin planned to show to the public that any of this had ever happened. It also wasn’t clear just how the US intelligence apparatus which failed so miserably with the evacuation of Afghanistan managed to track down and successfully eliminate the one person who was supposedly behind it all. Indeed, coming at the lowest point for the careening Biden admin, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise for the president to fabricate an entire drone attack just to appease his neo-con media warlords and in hopes of boosting his cratering approval rating.
Contradicting somewhat the official narrative, a U.S. official quoted by Bloomberg said that the unnamed person was suspected of being involved in plotting future attacks, but had no direct link to Thursday’s assault in Kabul.
In other words, the Biden admin claims it carried out what is effectively a carbon copy of the operation that Trump used to take out Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, back in January 2020. The only difference is back then there was not only evidence of the strike, but also confirmation on the ground. This time around, however, people are understandably skeptical that any of this even happened.
Then again it wouldn’t be the first time a local warlord was quietly and secretly disposed of: after all none other than Osama bin Laden got a quick and traceless burial at sea under Barack Obama. Hardly surprising that Joe Biden took a similar route.
The alleged drone attack came in the wake of new warnings from top American security officials that another terror attack in Kabul is likely, just days ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan. Isis-K, an Afghan affiliate of terrorist group Isis, claimed responsibility for the attack that this week killed more than 100 Afghan civilians and at least 13 US military personnel.
Joe Biden vowed to complete the U.S. evacuation mission in Afghanistan and pledged to pursue the attackers, saying Thursday evening that “we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Asked by reporters on Friday whether the president would order a mission to kill those responsible for the bombing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psakitold reporters: “He does not want them to live on the Earth any more.”
Meanwhile, thousands of people remain on the airport’s grounds awaiting evacuation, though their hopes of getting out are fading as countries conduct their final evacuation flights and Taliban fighters turn away eligible evacuees.
The latest strike marks at least the third time the General Atomics-built Reaper, has been used in a high-profile attack. A Reaper firing laser-guided Hellfire missiles was used in a nighttime November 2015 attack in Syria that killed Islamic State terrorist Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John.
More recently, a Reaper fired two Hellfires during a night attack outside Baghdad International Airport in January 2020 that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani just after he arrived in Iraq. The Reaper, a $64 million long-endurance aircraft with a 20-meter (66-foot) wingspan, had Soleimani in its sights for about 10 minutes before firing on two cars carrying the Iranian commander and other senior leaders and aides, including the head of an Iraqi-based militia group that had been.
Those skeptical that any of the above actually even happened, there will be a simple test: if the suicide attacks in and around the Kabul airport end in the coming days, Biden may have pulled it off. If not…well, we are about to see – metaphorically speaking of course – a whole lot more non-existent drone strikes.
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