The Coalition confirmed that an al Qaeda-linked Taliban commander who was responsible for a recent suicide attack that killed three US soldiers and a USAID officer in Kunar was himself killed three days ago in an airstrike in the province.
Yasir, an “al Qaeda associated Taliban leader,” was one of “several” insurgents killed in an airstrike in the Watahpur district on Aug. 17, the International Security Assistance Force announced in a press release. He was an Afghan citizen, ISAF told The Long War Journal.
“Yasir organized and conducted attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and was involved in the Aug. 8 suicide attack in Asadabad district, which killed three US soldiers and a US civilian,” ISAF stated.
The Aug. 8 suicide attack killed the command sergeant major for the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (the brigade’s senior enlisted soldier), two majors on the brigade staff, and a USAID foreign service officer. The suicide bomber attacked the brigade staff as they were attending a security meeting in Asadabad.
ISAF launched a second airstrike in Kunar just one day after Yasir was killed. In the second attack, in the Watahpur district, special operations forces called in an airstrike after identifying “several insurgents,” ISAF stated. The airstrike killed “many of them.” ISAF did not provide the affiliation of the “insurgents” who were targeted. According to Pajhwok Afghan News, “four Pakistanis, two Arabs, and a regional Taliban commander” known as Nasar were killed in the Aug. 18 strike in Watahpur.
The Watahpur district in Kunar has emerged as an important hub for al Qaeda and allied terror groups, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Since the end of May, five senior al Qaeda leaders and two Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders have been killed in airstrikes in Watahpur [for more information on Watahpur and Kunar, see LWJ report, ISAF kills Taliban district governor, ‘dozens’ of fighters in Kunar airstrikes].
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.