US collaborates with Taliban against ISIS: it’s official


At least 12 US service members were killed in a combined bomb attack and armed assault at a gate to the Kabul airport, where throngs fleeing the Taliban were desperately crowding Aug. 26. Reports indicate up to 100 Afghan civilians were killed, including children, although Taliban authorities have barred local medics from speaking to the press. A second such attack was reported from the nearby Baron Hotel, which is being used by aid workers coordinating the evacuation. The “Afghanistan Islamic Emirate,” as the Taliban are now calling themselves, condemned the blasts, which are presumed to be the work of the “Islamic State-Khorasan Province” (variously rendered ISIS-K or ISKP). (NYT, Al Jazeera, Khaama)

US Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie told a press briefing at the Pentagon that the US is coordinating with the Taliban in the effort to maintain “security” in Kabul: “They have a practical reason for wanting us to get out of here by the 31st of August. They want to reclaim the airfield. We want to get out by that day, too, if it’s possible to do so. So we share a common purpose. As long as we keep that common purpose alive, they’ve been useful to work with. They’ve cut some of our security concerns down and they’ve been useful to work with going forward.” (CNN) It was also revealed that on Aug. 23, CIA director William J. Burns met face-to-face in Kabul with the top Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar. The “secret” meeting was reported in the Washington Post. (CNN)

Photo via Future Center

  1. Are Taliban Washington’s ‘creatures’?

    Interviewed by Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) states that the US was “not defeated by its creatures” (meaning the Taliban) but left due to its own “multifold internal crisis.” They said that US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad “is highly hated among Afghan people due to his treacherous role in bringing the Taliban back to power.” They also accused the Western “corporate media” of trying to “sugarcoat [the] brutal Taliban.”

    This may be overstated, but we have maintained from the start that a central imperative of the US “peace” (sic) deal has been to groom the Taliban to fight ISIS.

  2. US drone strike targets ISIS-K

    US military officials announced Aug. 27 evening that a drone strike killed an ISIS-K target in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The following day, officials updated that to say that two “high-profile” targets—described as “a planner and a facilitator”—were killed and one other person from the terrorist group was injured in the retaliatory strike.

    “This strike was not the last,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.” (WAMU)

  3. US drone wipes out Kabul family: report

    Ten members of one family—including seven children—are dead after a US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of Kabul, a survivor told CNN. 

  4. NYT: no evidence of ISIS bomb in Kabul drone strike

    US officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours in Kabul on Aug. 29 and then fired based on evidence it was carrying explosives. But in-depth video analysis and interviews at the site by the New York Times cast doubt on that account.

  5. Pentagon: Kabul drone strike was ‘tragic’ mistake

    The Pentagon has acknowledged that the Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul that officials said was necessary to prevent an attack on US troops was a “tragic” mistake that killed 10 civilians, including seven children. “I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,” Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of US Central Command, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference. He said the US was “exploring the possibility of ex gratia payments” to compensate the families of the victims. The driver of the targeted car was Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a US aid group. The missile strike came as he arrived home and his children came out to greet him. (NYT)

  6. Did US troops fire on civilians at Kabul airport?

    A CNN investigation calls into question the Pentagon’s claim that all of the 170 Afghan civilians and 13 US service members killed in last August’s Kabul airport attack lost their lives in the suicide blast. CNN spoke to numerous witnesses and medics who said some of the dead and wounded had been shot. Medics dismissed Pentagon assertions that apparent bullet wounds were actually caused by ball-bearings packed in the bomb. Some witnesses said they saw US troops firing into the crowd in the aftermath of the explosion.

  7. Taliban kill ISIS leader behind Kabul airport attack

    The ISIS cell leader who planned the deadly August 2021 suicide bombing at the Kabul international airport was killed by the Taliban, the US National Security Council said April 25. The Biden administration did not name the ISIS-Khorasan leader killed. But reports have identified him as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, the top ISIS-K militant who was released from a prison at Bagram airbase only days before the Taliban took power. (WION)