A suicide bomber's attempt to disrupt the ongoing evacuation of people in Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan was intercepted over the weekend by the United States' troops.
According to The Epoch Times, the U.S. military fired an airstrike on the suicide bomber who is said to be in a car with intentions of creating havoc in the airport. The information was announced by Taliban's main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who revealed to media outlets that the airstrike targeted a suicide bomber who attempted to attack the airport.
While reports from Reuters and Al Jazeera similarly confirmed the incident and disclosed its source as unnamed U.S. officials who said the airstrike happened on August 29 as testified to by witnesses who heard the "loud explosion near the facility." The testimony is said to be coupled by footage on the incident that show a "black smoke rising into the sky."
The incident, as per The Epoch Times, was eventually confirmed by the U.S. Central Command in Afghanistan through its spokesperson Captain Bill Urban.
"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," Urban said in a press briefing.
"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 disclosed. "We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense reported on Saturday that it conducted an "unmanned" airstrike on three ISIS-K members in charge of the said organization's "planning and facilitation activities." Army Major William Taylor revealed in a press briefing held at the Pentagon that they conducted a drone strike in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, which is on the east side of Kabul, on the ISIS-K members. The airstrike left two ISIS-K members dead and one wounded, but there were no civilian casualties.
The Department of Defense explained that the said "over-the-horizon" operation was conducted in part of the U.S. military's "ongoing counter-terrorism mission" to ensure the security situation in Afghanistan, which is said to be "still dangerous."
"We will continue to have the ability to defend ourselves and to leverage over-the-horizon capability to conduct counter-terrorism operations as needed," Taylor said.
The said operations come just days after two suicide bombers caused a series of explosions near the Abbey Gate of the airport on Thursday morning, which has left 60 Afghans dead and many injured, and at least 12 U.S. military servicemen killed and 15 others wounded.
As per the DOD, the U.S. service men who died from Thursday's explosion were Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, and Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui of the Marine Corps; Seaman Maxton W. Soviak of the Navy; and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss of the Army.
The DOD called the attack "cowardly" and revealed they are determining the identity of those who perpetuated the incident, which is said to be not 100% sure as an ISIS-K operation. Notwithstanding the additional threat on the security, the DOD through its Secretary Lloyd Austin III announced it will continue with the evacuation of those in Afghanistan.
"We will not be dissuaded from the task at hand. To do anything less--especially now--would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan," Austin said.
Taylor highlighted during Saturday's press briefing that there are 117,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan, of which 5,400 are American citizens.