(CNN)The US military carried out a drone strike against what it said was an ISIS-K planner in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, amid warnings of possible further terror attacks targeting the last-ditch US evacuation effort from Kabul.

The desperate mission to airlift US citizens and Afghans who assisted US forces from the country by the end of the month is now in its final phase.The drone strike in Nangarhar came a day after US President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate for a terrorist attack Thursday that killed 13 US service members and at least 170 others outside Kabul’s international airport.ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, has claimed that an ISIS militant carried out Thursday’s suicide attack at an airport gate, but provided no evidence to support the claim. US officials have said the group was likely behind the bombing.What to know about ISIS-K, the terror group claiming responsibility for the Kabul airport attackWhat to know about ISIS-K, the terror group claiming responsibility for the Kabul airport attackWhat to know about ISIS-K, the terror group claiming responsibility for the Kabul airport attackBiden approved the strike on the ISIS-K planner, according to an official familiar with the matter.Read More”U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan,” spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said Friday. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”The identity of the person targeted in the US airstrike has not yet been confirmed.A defense official told CNN that the target of the drone strike who was killed was believed to be “associated with potential future attacks at the airport.” The US had located him and “we had sufficient eyes on and sufficient knowledge” to strike, the official said. “He was a known entity.” The official said the US was not calling the person a “senior” ISIS-K operative.The US Embassy in Kabul on Friday again warned US citizens at a number of gates at Hamid Karzai International Airport to “leave immediately,” citing security threats.The alert advised US citizens “to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates.”‘Nothing they can do’Flights could be seen taking off Saturday but it was unclear how many people were being allowed into the airport.An eyewitness told CNN he saw Taliban members fire shots in the air outside the main Kabul airport entrance gate on Saturday morning to disperse crowds that had gathered again in attempts to flee Afghanistan.US officials warn of possible threats to the US in wake of Afghanistan attack and mass evacuationUS officials warn of possible threats to the US in wake of Afghanistan attack and mass evacuationUS officials warn of possible threats to the US in wake of Afghanistan attack and mass evacuationA source directly familiar with the situation at the airport told CNN that only a skeletal US diplomatic crew of staff to process evacuees would remain after the bulk expected to be departed in the next 24 hours.The source said that some individuals or small families were still “being pulled through the gates somehow” as of Saturday. The gates have been closed for days. The numbers getting on were thought to be “a very tiny subset, consisting of single people or families.” The US has said they had alternate routes to the airport.The source added that US airport staff were “still getting hit up by tons of people trying to get in. All Afghans, either SIV or no credentials. They feel bad but there is literally nothing they can do.”SIV refers to the Special Immigrant Visa program established more than a decade ago to provide a pathway to the United States for Afghans who were employed by or worked on behalf of the US government. The source added it was unclear if the evacuation of local embassy employees had finished, but that hundreds more had been reported as having got to the airport and that “hundreds more have departed for interim locations.”Thousands more flown outFollowing Thursday’s attack, Biden’s national security team told him Friday that “another terror attack in Kabul is likely, but that they are taking maximum force protection measures at the Kabul Airport,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.”The next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date,” Psaki said in a statement Friday.Kabul airport attack shows Afghanistan is still a terror hotbed that the Taliban will struggle to controlKabul airport attack shows Afghanistan is still a terror hotbed that the Taliban will struggle to controlKabul airport attack shows Afghanistan is still a terror hotbed that the Taliban will struggle to controlUS and other Western countries have been racing to evacuate their citizens and Afghan allies ahead of an August 31 deadline, after the Taliban retook control of the country — prompting fears of deadly reprisals against anyone linked to international forces.The Pentagon said the US was “still planning on ending this mission at the end of the month,” representing a final exit from a 20-year war in Afghanistan.The US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 109,200 people since August 14, according to the White House.About 4,200 people were evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, according to the White House. The evacuations were carried out by 12 US military flights that carried approximately 2,100 evacuees and 29 coalition flights that also evacuated about 2,100 people.Approximately 7,500 people had been evacuated from Kabul in the same 12-hour period the day before.State Department spokesperson Ned Price said earlier Friday that “there are approximately 500 American citizens we are currently working with who want to leave and with whom we are communicating directly to facilitate their evacuations.”Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport on Friday in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport on Friday in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport on Friday in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.US allies conclude evacuationsThe head of the United Kingdom’s armed forces, Gen. Nick Carter, said the UK’s effort to evacuate Afghan civilians from the country would end Saturday, to be followed by the withdrawal of the remaining UK troops.”It’s gone as well as it could do in the circumstances… but we haven’t been able to bring everybody out and that has been heartbreaking and there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground,” he told BBC Radio 4.See inside US air base preparing Afghans for new life in America See inside US air base preparing Afghans for new life in America See inside US air base preparing Afghans for new life in America JUST WATCHEDSee inside US air base preparing Afghans for new life in America ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

See inside US air base preparing Afghans for new life in America 02:22The number left behind who were eligible to be brought to the UK was in the “high hundreds” he said.The defense spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, John Healey, told Sky News that despite the UK getting more than 14,000 people out of the country, “there are probably 1,000 Afghans who have worked with us over two decades in Afghanistan, helped our troops, our aid workers, our diplomats, that we promised to protect, but we’re leaving behind.” Healey urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene to offer hope of rescue to those Afghans left behind.France announced the end of its evacuation effort Friday but vowed to “stand by the Afghan people” after August 31, in a statement released by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.The country had evacuated nearly 3,000 people since August 15, the statement said. An extra 1,500 Afghans who had worked for France were evacuated before August 15 in anticipation of the current crisis, it added.Italy’s Defense Ministry also said Friday that it had concluded its military evacuations of Afghan nationals out of Kabul.The last flight took off Friday evening carrying 58 Afghan citizens, with the remainder of those on board Italian service members involved in the evacuation process, the ministry said. Since June, 5,011 people have been evacuated in total, of whom 4,980 are Afghan citizens, including 1,301 women and 1,453 children, it said.Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and Spain have all said their evacuation missions ended or were scheduled to end on Friday.Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said Friday that it was trying to establish an air bridge into the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan in the coming days, with the help of Pakistan authorities.

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/28/asia/afghanistan-us-airstrike-evacuation-mission-intl/index.html

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