The war against terrorists harboring themselves in Afghanistan has been raging on for nearly 17 years, and like most Americans, President Donald Trump would like to that long-running conflict reach an acceptable conclusion, sooner rather than later.
To that end, Trump has ordered the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan to press the enemy relentlessly, which in turn recently led to targeted airstrikes that killed the leader of the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan.
According to The Hill, the U.S. confirmed on Sunday that a U.S. airstrike on August 25 in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan had killed a man known as Abu Saad Orakzai, the self-proclaimed leader of that nation’s branch of the Islamic State group.
Maintaining pressure on terrorists
The airstrike that took out Orakzai is believed to be the third time that a self-proclaimed ISIS leader in Afghanistan has been killed in a coalition strike.
Orakzai is believed to have been killed along with at least 10 other ISIS fighters in the airstrike. The strike in late August had been initially reported by CNN, but the U.S. has only just now confirmed that the ISIS leader was among those killed in the operation.
“America and her allies are in Afghanistan to maintain pressure on the networked, trans-regional terrorists attempting to plot, resource and direct attacks from here,” said Gen. Scott Miller, the U.S. commander of the military coalition in Afghanistan, in a statement.
“This is only part of the coalition’s work towards an Afghan security solution, but it is a vital part,” Miller added.
Gen. Miller officially took over as the commander of coalition military forces in Afghanistan on Sept. 2, replacing the outgoing U.S. commander of the coalition, Gen. John Nicholson.
Miller had made clear during that ceremony that, under his leadership, coalition forces would not allow the terrorists to enjoy safe harbor anywhere in the war-torn nation.
“We must ensure terrorists can never use Afghanistan as a safe haven,” said Miller at the ceremony.
Perhaps knowing the self-proclaimed “caliphate” established in Iraq and Syria was indefensible and would fall, the Islamic State group set up branch affiliates in other nations to ensure they couldn’t be wiped out in one fell swoop, with Afghanistan being the site of one of the more prominent affiliate groups.
Taking out that group’s leader — for the third time — is a devastating blow to the terrorist organization, and rather big news, but it has largely been ignored by the mainstream media as it doesn’t fit anywhere within their pre-set anti-Trump narratives.