ALEX RUBINSTEIN—Iran and Russia have “consistently allege[d]” that unmarked helicopters were flying into regions of Afghanistan where ISIS had a foothold. But as Javad Zarif pointed out in March 2018, “this time, it wasn’t unmarked helicopters. They were American helicopters, taking Daesh out of Haska prison. Where did they take them? Now, we don’t know where they took them, but we see the outcome. We see more and more violence in Pakistan, more and more violence in Afghanistan, taking a sectarian flavor.”
As the US government propaganda outlet Voice of America wrote at the time in 2018, “the terrorist group uses Nangarhar as its main base to launch attacks elsewhere in Afghanistan.” This is the same province the US struck with an unmanned drone the day following the attack on the airport.