The leader of the ISIS terrorist group in Afghanistan was killed by U.S. forces in a drone strike, officials said.
“The emir of Daesh in Afghanistan—along with 10 others—was killed,” it said, using the terrorist group’s Arabic acronym, the Afghan National Directorate of Security said, according to Qatar-backed Al Jazeera. A number of weapons, explosives, and ammunition were also destroyed in the airstrikes, the agency said.
U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell said that the ISIS branch leader, Abu Sayeed Orakzai, died in the drone strike.
“I would also add that the United States unrelentingly continues its counterterrorism efforts against ISIS-K, al-Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups,” he told Fox News. ISIS in Afghanistan is sometimes known as ISIS-K.
O’Donnell referred to a statement by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani about the leader’s death.
The local affiliate of ISIS, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) after an old name for the region that includes Afghanistan, has been active since 2015, fighting the Taliban as well as Afghan and U.S. forces.
The airstrikes were carried out in Nangarhar Province near Pakistan’s border. Ten other ISIS fighters were killed.
A commander of the terrorist group ” identified as Musafir was among those killed in the airstrikes,” Khaama Press reported.
ISIS Leader Speaks
Meanwhile, in leaked audio messages, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allegedly stated that ISIS groups are losing and it is a test from Allah. “The scale depends on how much faith the worshipper has,” he said, CNN reported.
“For the believer Mujahideen, the scale of victory or defeat is not counting on a city or town being stolen or subject to those who have aerial superiority, or intercontinental missiles or smart bombs, and not how many followers they have,” he said.
If the recording is really of the ISIS leader, it would be the first since October 2017 when the group was pushed out of Raqqa, Syria. There have been a number of reports of his death or injury.
“U.S. Central Command is aware of the alleged audio recording,” Central Command spokesman Capt. William Urban told CNN on Aug. 22. “I am not going to comment on our assessment of the recording. We do not know where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is at this time, but he continues to be someone that we are interested in removing from the battlefield.”
“I do not believe that any official US government source has ever claimed that he is dead,” he said, adding that he believes that the ISIS chief is still alive.
ISIS has been active in Afghanistan since around 2015, fighting against the Taliban and U.S. forces, according to NBC.
Meanwhile, in May 2018, the U.S. Air Force released video footage of airstrikes in Farah Province, Afghanistan, which targeted Taliban forces.
From The Epoch Times