Pentagon press secretary John Kirby (right) speaks as Army Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor, looks on during a briefing at the Pentagon on Saturday.

Susan Walsh/AP


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Susan Walsh/AP


Pentagon press secretary John Kirby (right) speaks as Army Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor, looks on during a briefing at the Pentagon on Saturday.

Susan Walsh/AP

This is a developing story and will be updated.

U.S. Department of Defense officials offered more information Saturday about continued operations in Afghanistan, including evacuation efforts and a drone strike that targeted those involved in Thursday’s bombing at the airport in Kabul.

The Pentagon announced Friday evening that a drone strike killed an ISIS-K target in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. On Saturday, officials updated that to say that two “high-profile” targets — described as “a planner and a facilitator” — were killed and one other person from the terrorist group was injured in the retaliatory strike.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the names of those targets would not be released.

“The fact that two of these individuals are no longer walking on the face of the earth, that’s a good thing,” Kirby said of the drone strike. “It’s a good thing for the people of Afghanistan and it’s a good thing for our troops and our forces at that airfield.”

U.S. officials have said that threats continue at the Kabul airport following Thursday’s bombing, which killed nearly 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members. That incident has intensified already frantic operations aimed at evacuating Afghans and withdrawing U.S. troops ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline imposed by President Biden.

“We are going to complete this mission by the end of the month and we’ve said that,” Kirby said. “Nothing has changed about the timeline for us and we will do this in as safe and orderly a way as possible — and that includes being able to continue to evacuate up until the very end.

Gen. William “Hank” Taylor said that a total 117,000 people have been flown out of Afghanistan as part of the U.S. evacuation effort thus far, with “a vast majority” being Afghans.



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