While the report may be seen as a propaganda designed to bolster its claims of controlling territory, it does not inflate the Taliban’s control of districts centers and contested areas throughout the country. The Taliban also admits that there are large areas in Afghanistan where it has only a minimal presence.
The US military said Qari Yasin was responsible for the deaths of two US Marines in the Sept. 2008 suicide assault on the Islamabad Marriott Hotel, and confirmed he was killed in Paktika province.
Last night, the Taliban, after months of heavy fighting in Sangin in Helmand province, took control of the district center. Yet, Resolute Support, NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, is attempting to claim victory.
Afghan forces withdrew from Sangin’s district center, then bombs government buildings, military bases, and the police headquarters. Seven of Helmand’s 14 districts are now under Taliban control.
Commander Yusuf Wazir, the slain Taliban leader, also lost a father and a brother in previous US drone strikes, according to the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Three Taliban commanders are reported to have been killed in US drone strikes along the Afghan-Pakistani border since the beginning of March.
The death of Qari Muhammad Yasin, an experienced Pakistani jihadist, has not been confirmed by the US or jihadists operating in the region. He was targeted in an area of Afghanistan known to serve as an al Qaeda safe haven.
One of the training facilities is in a contested district in Faryab province. The Taliban has publicized 12 camps since late 2014.
The shooting, which took place as US troops were training their Afghan counterparts on a base in Helmand province, is the first recorded insider attack since Oct. 2016.