Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

US Confirms Killing of Additional IS Leaders in July 11 Airstrike

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Voice of America, 30 July 2017

Reporting that a US airstrike earlier in July has not only killed ISKP’s amir Abu Saeed but also four other leading members of the group, an earlier AAN dispatch by Borhan Osman is quoted extensively:

“The ‘decapitation’ of ISK-P has been well underway over the past two years as the US military has stepped up its military campaign, mainly through air strikes, against the group in Nangarhar,” the non-governmental organization wrote in an article last week.

The eastern province of Nangarhar borders Kunar, and several of its districts are considered IS strongholds. Afghan security forces, backed by U.S. airpower, have been conducting major operations in the province to eliminate IS bases.

IS is also under attack from Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency and facing emerging internal differences, but there are no visible signs its appeal to some radicalized sectors is fading, AAN warns.

“ISKP has shown it is resilient. Recruits continue to pour in to Nangarhar from various provinces of Afghanistan as well as from Pakistan,” the watchdog noted, adding the group can be expected to put all its efforts into holding out against Afghan and U.S. forces to retain its strongholds in Nangarhar.