Leader of Daesh’s Afghanistan branch dead: Pentagon

July 14, 2017 10:30 pm

A airman guides a Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone as it taxis to the runway at Kandahar Airfield, , March 9, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

The says the leader of the (ISIS) group’s Afghanistan branch has been killed in a US raid in the northeastern province of Kunar.
“US forces killed Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) — in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, July 11,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement on Friday.
“The raid also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.”
Abu Sayed was chosen to lead the group after Afghan and US forces killed former Daesh-K leaders Abdul Hasib and Hafiz Sayed Khan in April this year and July last year respectively.
This comes a few hours after Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said that Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has been reportedly killed in recent months in Syria, might still be alive.
“If we knew, we would tell you — right now, I can’t confirm or deny it,” Mattis told reporters on Friday.
“Our approach is we assume he’s alive until it’s proven otherwise, and right now I can’t prove it otherwise,” he added.
On June 16, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Baghdadi might have been among a group of terrorist leaders attending a so-called Daesh military council, and killed in a Russian strike on Syria’s militant-held city of Raqqah, which serves as the terrorists’ de facto capital in Syria, on May 28.
Daesh, which is mainly concentrated in Iraq and Syria, has been sustaining heavy losses in battles with national armies and allied forces in those countries in the past months.
The Takfiri group emerged in Afghanistan in early 2015 and has claimed responsibility for some deadly attacks in the country.
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