Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge on Strike Targeting an ISIL Leader in Afghanistan
U.S. and Afghan Special Operations Forces conducted operations against ISIL in southern Nangarhar province from approximately 1-30 July 2016. During this time, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting Hafiz Sayed Khan, the Islamic State in the Levant-Khorasan emir, in Achin district, Nangarhar province July 26, resulting in his death.
Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, 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. ISIL-K uses the area to train, equip, disseminate and control fighter pipelines, providing ISIL-K commanders throughout Afghanistan with a continuous supply of enemy fighters from this province.
Khan’s death affects ISIL-K recruiting efforts and will disrupt ISIL-K’s operations in Afghanistan and the region.