ISIL Leader in Afghanistan Targeted in Airstrike
U.S. and Afghan special operations forces conducted operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Afghanistan’s southern Nangarhar province between approximately July 1-30, 2016, a Defense Department spokesman said in a statement released today.
During this time, Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike July 26 targeting Hafiz Sayed Khan, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan emir, in Achin district, Nangarhar province, resulting in his death.
“Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces,” he said, “and the actions of his network terrorized Afghans, especially in Nangarhar.”
Nangarhar province has been a hotbed for ISIL-Khorasan activity since the summer of 2015, the deputy press secretary noted. The group uses the area to train, equip, disseminate and control fighter pipelines, providing its commanders throughout Afghanistan with a continuous supply of enemy fighters from this province, Trowbridge said.
Khan's death affects ISIL-Khorasan recruiting efforts and will disrupt its operations in Afghanistan and the region, he said.