KABUL (April 14, 2017) — General John Nicholson, commander, Resolute Support, delivers remarks about the U.S. strike on an ISIS-K complex in Nangarhar province yesterday.
Gen. Nicholson: Well thanks Mr. Sediqi, and thanks to the government team for organizing this press conference and thank you all for being here today.
Last night, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan conducted a strike against an ISIS-K complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.
This strike is part of our campaign to destroy ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017. Operations began in early March and have been very successful in destroying Daesh fighters and facilities and liberating the homes of the people of Nangarhar who have been forced to flee.
So far, these operations have liberated over 400 square kilometers in southern Nangarhar.
The munition we used last night, the GBU-43, is designed to destroy caves and tunnels which ISIS-K have been using along with extensive belts of IEDs to thicken their positions against our offensive.
The enemy used these tunnels and minefields to move around the battlefield and protect themselves from attacks from Afghan and U.S. forces.
This was the right weapon against the right target.
I want to assure the people of Afghanistan that our forces take every possible precaution to prevent civilian casualties.
We had persistent surveillance over the area before, during and after the operation and now we have Afghan and U.S. forces on the site and see no evidence of civilian casualties nor have there been any reports of civilian casualties.
Let me take a moment now to emphasize the brutality of our enemy – Daesh.
Since they arrived in southern Nangarhar, ISIS-K has dragged elders out of their homes and beheaded them in front of their families.
They rounded up other elders, forced them to kneel on explosives and blew them up in front of their people.
ISIS-K has murdered male family members, kidnapped their wives and daughters and forced them to marry their fighters.
Daesh has sent suicide bombers to attack peaceful demonstrations and have killed and wounded hundreds of innocent civilians.
They have sent suicide bombers into mosques and murdered people during their prayer.
And just last month, they shot and stabbed hospital patients lying in their beds.
They are animals.
The Afghan Army and specifically, their Commandos, are leading this fight against these barbaric terrorists. They are doing it on behalf of the people of Afghanistan, and indeed they’re doing in on behalf of all of us.
The United States is committed to Afghanistan in this fight.
We are united with the Afghan government to prevent terrorists from establishing safe havens in Afghanistan.
The U.S. coordinated with the Government of Afghanistan to conduct yesterday’s operation, just as we have since we started this operation in early March
We work in close coordination with the government and we communicate regularly with their officials regarding all of our operations.
Let me be clear: we will not relent in our mission to fight alongside our Afghan comrades to destroy ISIS-K in 2017.
We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan comrades to eliminate this threat to the Afghan people, especially the people of Nangarhar, to the people of the entire region, and indeed the people around the world.
USFOR-A Public Affairs Office
Primary: Between 0830-2030 Afghanistan Local: Tel: +93 (0) 700 13-2114 / +93 (0) 700 13-2928
Between 2030-0830 Afghanistan Local: Tel: +93 (0) 700 13-4021