Pentagon: Islamic State's Afghan leader killed in April raid

Sunday, 14 May, 2017

The proposed additional troops would work together with a greater number of Afghan forces and operate more closely to the front lines.

A USA soldier is seen near the site of a US bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Abdul Hasib was known as an evasive leader, resulting in little to no information about the former Taliban commander. Hasib's predecessor, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in July in a us airstrike; he had been reported dead a few times before the USA military confirmed it in August. However, President Ghani is confident he was behind the Kabul hospital attack.

ISIS has been active in the area since 2015, vying for power with the Taliban.

The Afghanistan-based South Asia Islamic State branch, dubbed Khorasan (ISIS-K), is named after an ancient title of a region that covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India, and other neighboring countries.

Last month, a Pentagon spokesman said Hasib had probably been killed during a raid by USA and Afghan special forces in Nangarhar during which two US army Rangers were killed, but there was no confirmation. The military action has succeeded in reducing Hasib's fighters to roughly 700. IS fighters disguised as doctors stormed the building, killing dozens of medical staff and patients. Afghan authorities April 15 reported a jump in fatalities from the American military's largest non-nuclear bomb, declaring some 90 Islamic State fighters dead, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over their mountain hideouts.

In mid-April the USA dropped the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat, colloquially dubbed the "mother of all bombs", against an ISIS-K tunnel complex.

Situated in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the station was "spreading the group's extremist messages and issuing threats" to the locals and government workers, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

United States military officials in Afghanistan have previously said Hasib's death would "significantly degrade" the group's operations and "help reach our goal of destroying them in 2017". During the joint operation, 50 US Army rangers and 40 Afghan commandos were deployed and later aided by AC-130 aircraft, F-16 fighter jets, drones and Apache helicopters, according to CNN.

The military coalition reportedly battled ISIS for over three hours before it came to a head.

General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Logari was the second leader of IS in Afghanistan to be killed in the last nine months. "To date, the campaign has liberated over half of the districts that ISIS-K controlled, which has allowed local residents to return to their homes for the first time in more than two years", the statement added.