The Pentagon reported Friday that a U.S. airstrike took out ISIS’s Afghanistan leader, as per The Atlantic. Abu Sayed was among the ISIS individuals executed by an airstrike that the Pentagon said: “will significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.”
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Sayed’s death marks a significant advance in the United States. Effort to drive ISIS out of Afghanistan by the end of this year. While ISIS is predominantly based in Iraq and Syria, the militant group has extended its operations to Afghanistan in 2015. For now, ISIS has retained a limited territory in Afghanistan, with major strongholds in Kunar and the eastern province of Nangarhar. While the Pentagon estimated that around 2,500 ISIS fighters were stationed in Afghanistan in 2015, they have reported that ISIS-K is now down to less than 1,000 militants. In addition to battling U.S. And Afghan forces, ISIS-K has also clashed with the Taliban, which maintains a much larger presence in the nation.
Defense Secretary James Mattis called the strike “obviously a victory on our side.”
“It’s obviously a victory on our side in terms of setting [ISIS-K] back. It’s the right direction, “Mattis told reporters on Friday, although he struggled to say how long the group would be thrown off by the loss of their leader. Mattis speculated that a death like Sayed’s would put ISIS-K at a disadvantage “for a day, a week, a month,” depending on what kind of people are below him. “On the same day, John Nicholson, the Top US Commander in Afghanistan, said the deaths of three ISIS-K leaders in a single year stressed that “there is no safe haven for ISIS-K in Afghanistan.”
In June, Mattis remarked that the U.S. was “not winning in Afghanistan right now.”
Mad Dog went ahead to state that he trusted, at the time, to “correct this as soon as possible.”
Ideally, this most recent improvement implies the tides are turning.
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