Multiple Afghan news organizations reported on Monday that an airstrike in Kabul ordered by President Joe Biden appeared to have killed at least ten civilians, including several children.
The strike reportedly targeted members of the Islamic State and the Pentagon has stated it is currently investigating the accusations.
President Joe Biden confirmed in a statement Saturday evening (Sunday Afghan time) that the U.S. military had conducted airstrikes in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan this weekend, even as Biden’s August 31 deadline for a military evacuation of the country inched closer. The airstrikes reportedly targeted the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), the Afghan/Pakistani wing of the international jihadist organization.
Both the Biden administration and the Taliban, currently the de facto ruling government of Afghanistan, blamed the Islamic State for suicide bombings at Kabul’s international airport last week that killed over 100 people, including at least 13 American servicemen and women. ISIS-K also took responsibility for the attack in a propaganda message.
The Taliban claims ISIS-K is a longtime enemy of its movement, despite both being Sunni Muslim terrorist organizations. The Taliban had largely subdued the ISIS-K presence in the country in past years in response to ISIS terrorists attempting to take over the Taliban’s lucrative poppy fields, used to cultivate opium and develop heroin.
The attack targeted a large crowd of Afghan citizens who had congregated outside of the airport desperately seeking to make it onto foreign military evacuation flights, fleeing the newly installed Taliban regime. The Taliban took over Kabul – and thus the entire nation – on August 15, following former President Ashraf Ghani’s rapid departure from the country.