National Security

US Drone Strike Obliterates Islamic State’s Afghan Leader

Erik de Castro/Reuters.

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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U.S. forces killed the leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan on Tuesday, according to the Pentagon.

Abu Sayed was killed in a drone strike on the terrorist group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, said Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement Friday. Several other members of the organization, known as ISIS Khorasan Province or ISIS-K, were also killed.

Sayed is the third ISIS-K commander killed by U.S. forces in the past year. Hafiz Sayed Khan was killed in late July 2016, while his replacement, Abdul Hasib, was killed in April.

U.S. and Afghan forces have been engaged in an ongoing offensive against ISIS-K forces in Nangarhar province since March. The mission was undertaken “to drive fighters from Nangarhar and send a clear message to ISIS that there is no sanctuary for their fighters in Afghanistan,” according to White.

ISIS-K has had a relatively small presence in Afghanistan compared to its main holdings in Iraq and Syria, though it has engaged in some high profile attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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