Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined Friday to provide the names of the ISIS terrorists the military killed in airstrikes late last week and early this week, as the Biden administration worked to complete its withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
“I don’t believe we’ve refused to say who they are. We haven’t given you any names but we absolutely had solid intelligence that this was ISIS individuals who were in the act of imminently carrying out a direct threat to the airport and our people and potentially to innocent lives outside the airport,” Kirby said.
The U.S. military carried out two airstrikes against ISIS-K. One was in Nangarhar Province last Friday and killed “two high profile” targets. Another strike hit a Kabul suicide bomber who was threatening the city’s airport, where the U.S. military was evacuating civilians.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Washington. Kirby Friday declined to name the ISIS terrorists killed by the American military in two recent airstrikes. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
“We know who they are. I think at the time we didn’t release the names because we are in the middle of a very fluid threat environment. Let me see if that’s information that can be provided now,” Kirby said.
The last American service member left Afghanistan on Monday ahead of President Biden’s deadline to withdraw all American boots on the ground from Afghanistan. But the administration left behind as many as 200 Americans. And the State Department is saying that those people – trapped in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan – should not rely on the U.S. government to help them escape.
Biden, meanwhile, has maintained there would be no way for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan without throwing the country into chaos and said the military needed to be out of the country by Aug. 31 because the Taliban would begin to attack after that deadline.