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Biden to address counterterrorism operation against al Qaeda

President Biden on Monday evening will speak from the White House about a successful counterterrorism operation the U.S. military carried out in Afghanistan over the weekend.

“Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties,” a senior administration official said.

Multiple news outlets reported that a U.S. drone strike near Kabul over the weekend killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

Biden is scheduled to speak later Monday about the mission, despite having tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday with a “rebound” case of the virus. The president will speak from the Blue Room Balcony, and the event will not be open to the full press corps.

The United States withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan nearly one year ago, ending its roughly 20-year presence in the country following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Critics of the withdrawal argued it would give room for groups like al Qaeda to gain a foothold and influence in the region, but Biden administration officials insisted the United States would maintain the ability to carry out over-the-horizon operations from other military bases.

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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