Continues drone strikes in Afghanistan if necessary: Pentagon

1st Sept, 2021

Continues drone strikes in Afghanistan if necessary: Pentagon

The Pentagon on Tuesday said it was continuing drone strikes on Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and other terrorist groups in South Asia, a day after the last remaining United States troops left Afghanistan. ISIS-K was the same group that attacked Kabul airport last week, killing at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members. Following the attack, the U.S. retaliated with drone strikes on an ISIS-K planner, facilitator and even a suspected suicide car bomber. "We have the capacity to protect and defend our national security interests from a horizon perspective," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told Fox News. "And I tell you, without any imaginary or imaginary future activity, we will continue to maintain those capabilities and use them when needed," Kirby said. The protracted war in the United States ended late Monday after the United States withdrew its last remaining troops from Afghanistan. The chaotic exit led the Taliban to gain control of Afghanistan and push back the war-torn country in 2001. International affairs observers, however, are skeptical of the Taliban, which has a reputation for cruelty to women and girls, as well as brutal justice. The group has repeatedly promised that the system, this time, will be more tolerant and liberal. On Tuesday, Taliban leaders walked over the runway of Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport as the last US flight departed from Afghanistan. He fired the ceremony bullets into the air and called it a "big win." "This victory is for all of us," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. "The world needs to learn its lesson and this is the happy moment of success," he said. In a speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden reiterated the US stance against the ISIS-K group. "We are not with you yet for ISIS-K," Biden said. Justifying the decision with sharp criticism and scrutiny for its implementation, Biden also said that the real decision in Afghanistan was "between departure and advancing", with forces choosing to withdraw their troops into the country as the only option rather than increasing it. "I will never extend this war, and I will never extend the exit," he said.