External Affairs

ISIS Chief in Afghanistan Killed: Pentagon

An ISIS flag is seen in this picture illustration taken February 18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

An ISIS flag is seen in this picture illustration taken February 18, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Washington: The head of ISIS in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, was killed in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar province earlier this week, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement that other members of the ISIS group were also killed in the strike on Tuesday.

US defence secretary Jim Mattis told reporters, “The significance is you kill a leader of one of these groups and it sets them back … it is obviously a victory on our side in terms of setting them back, it is the right direction.”

Sayed is the third ISIS leader in Afghanistan to be killed since July 2016.

Former leader Abdul Hasib was killed in a joint US and Afghan operation on April 27 in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Hasib’s predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a US drone strike in 2016.

Afghan troops, backed by US warplanes and special forces, have been battling militants linked to ISIS in eastern Afghanistan for years.

The local affiliate of ISIS, sometimes known as Khorasan (ISIS-K) after an old name for the region that includes Afghanistan, has been active since 2015, fighting the Taliban and Afghan and US forces.

General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has vowed to defeat ISIS there this year.