WASHINGTON – U.S. forces have killed the head of the Islamic State group's Afghanistan branch, the Pentagon said Friday, marking the third time in a year the franchise has lost its leader. Abu Sayed was killed in a strike Tuesday in Afghanistan's northeastern province of Kunar on the headquarters of IS-Khorasan Province (IS-K) that also killed additional jihadis, the Pentagon said in a statement. "You kill a leader of one of these groups and it sets them back," Pentagon chief James Mattis told reporters. First emerging in 2015, IS-K overran large parts of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border, but their part in the Afghan conflict had been largely overshadowed by the operations against the Taliban. Afghan and U.S. forces had killed Abu Sayed's two predecessors atop the group's Afghan branch -- Hafiz Saeed in July 2016 and Abdul Hasib in late April of this year, the Pentagon said.
The head of ISIL in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, was killed in an attack on his headquarters in Kunar province earlier this week, the Pentagon said on Friday. Spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement on Friday that other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were killed in the strike on Tuesday. "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," White said in the statement, referring to ISIL's other acronym. "The raid also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group's plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan." Sayed is the third Islamic State leader in Afghanistan to be killed since July 2016.
U.S. Special Forces killed the head of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan last month, officials confirmed Sunday. Abdul Hasib died in a joint Afghan-U.S. operation in Nangarhar province April 27, Reuters reported. Hasib, who had been leading the faction since predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a U.S. drone strike last year, was believed the architect of several high-profile attacks, including a March 8 attack on Kabul's main military hospital that left dozens of medical staff and patients dead. Afghan President Ashrab Ghani also has accused Hasib of ordering the beheading of local elders in front of their families and the kidnapping of women and girls, who were forced to marry ISIS fighters. Two U.S. Army Rangers also died in the attack that killed Hasib, part of an operation that included drone strikes that began in March along the border with Pakistan.
The head of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, has been killed in a raid on the group's headquarters in the eastern province of Kunar, US officials say. Abu Sayed's predecessor, Abdul Hasib, was killed in a military raid in April. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that Abu Sayed was chosen to lead the group after US and Afghan forces killed the previous IS leaders Hafiz Sayed Khan in a drone strike in 2016 and Abdul Hasib earlier this year. In addition to the reported killings of Sayed and Hasib, US and Afghan forces have killed or captured hundreds of IS militants in an offensive this year, according to the US military.
The head of ISIS in Afghanistan was killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan forces last month that also resulted in the death of two American soliders, the military said Sunday. A statement by U.S. Forces, Afghanistan confirmed that Sheikh Abdul Hasib, described as the Emir of ISIS in the Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), was killed in the April 27 raid in southern Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. The raid that killed Hasib was carried out in the same area where the U.S. dropped the so-called "Mother of all Bombs" last month. The Pentagon said that more than 50 U.S. Army Rangers and dozens of other partnered Afghan forces battled ISIS for over three hours in the mountain terrain. Two of the Rangers were killed and a third was wounded.