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.
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.
Al Qaeda has released a eulogy for Abu al Khayr al Masri, who was killed in a US airstrike in Idlib, Syria in late February. The eulogy emphasizes his close relationship with Osama bin Laden and his role as al Qaeda’s “representative” in meetings with the Taliban. Once in Syria, Masri was “honored” to oversee “combat operations” in the insurgents’ “management and planning rooms.”
The US killed al Qaeda veteran Abu al Khayr al Masri in a drone strike in Idlib, Syria in late February. Masri was identified as al Qaeda’s “general deputy” in July 2016. He worked to unite Syrian rebel groups under a common banner.