The Biden administration claimed to have killed two high-profile ISIS-K terrorists in their first retaliatory airstrike following the bombing at Kabul airport that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members. However, bizarrely, they refused to release their names. Since then, they’ve admitted that a different drone strike in Kabul last month killed 10 civilians, not ISIS-K terrorists as they’d originally claimed. In the wake of this admission, the Pentagon’s refusal to name the terrorists they claimed were killed in the first strike seems even more suspect now. Especially since it’s been nearly a month since that first strike
On Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said no review would be conducted on the first strike.
“We believe that the strike we took a couple of days prior up in Nangarhar actually had an effect on quietening down [the threat level] because we got a key attack planner in that strike,” Kirby claimed. “We believe that disrupted some of their plans.”
U.S. Central Command Commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie also hyped up that original strike as a success. “We conducted a very successful drone strike two days earlier up in Nangarhar province. And we got the target,” he said. “And I think that had a significant event on dislocating and suppressing ISIS-K’s ability to attack us during this period of time. So, we actually had success with that.”
If it was a success, then why can’t the Pentagon tell us who these alleged terrorists were? There’s only one reason why they wouldn’t reveal the names: They don’t know who was killed. Were they low-level ISIS-K followers? Were they civilians? It seems very likely the Biden administration felt political pressure to appear to have retaliated against ISIS-K after the Kabul airport bombing, and we need answers as to why the Pentagon won’t release any details. Did they make two huge mistakes, not just one?
Given the circumstances, the Biden administration needs to be more transparent about the first strike. We need names. Without any names, we have every reason to assume the strike was not as successful as they claimed.