On 26th August, at around 6 pm local time, an explosion ripped at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The suicide attack killed over 180 Afghanis and 13 US soldiers. Just after few hours, US President Joe Biden addressed his nation saying, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay”. He also said that “We will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose and the moment of our choosing.”
On August 27th, the US Military Central Command issued a statement saying, “US 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. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
The airstrike indicates that the US Military Central Command was carried out by a weaponised drone. Just a day before the strike, US Central Command Chief General McKenzie said that they were operating MQ-9 Reaper drones over Kabul for surveillance. These Reaper drones are known to be armed with Hellfire missiles that can blast targets.
Earlier, Wall Street Journal article also says that the US government has developed a secret missile for the pinpoint airstrike that kills leaders with no explosion. It drastically reduces damages, explosions, and civilian causalities. As per the WSJ article, the Hellfire missile is designed as the R9X. Also, it is equipped with a payload of a halo of 6 blades which deploy through the skin of the missile seconds before impact to make sure that it shreds anything that comes in its track.