The US State Department announced today that it is offering rewards for information on two senior AQAP leaders: Qasim al-Raymi and Khalid al-Batarfi. Both men attended al Qaeda’s training camps in pre-9/11 Afghanistan before assuming leadership roles in Yemen.
General Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was present at the meeting but was not wounded. The the governor of Kandahar and the head of the province’s National Directorate of Security were among those killed. The assassination of Raziq is a major blow to the Afghan government. He was arguably the most powerful player in the Afghan south and a stalwart ally of the US, and he may not be easily replaced.
Saeed Mohammad is the first IRGC-KAA commander who does not have a military background, who also falls in line with a trend of appointments of younger managers at top positions in the IRGC, unlike the current commanders whose formative years were in combat during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988.
A large concentration of Shabaab fighters a significant distance from its typical support zone in Jubba River Valley demonstrates the Al Qaeda affiliate’s resilience across Somalia.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the most powerful jihadist organization in Idlib province, has finally issued a statement addressing the agreement reached between Turkey and Russia last month. HTS vows to continue waging jihad, and warns that it doesn’t trust Russia’s “intentions,” but does not directly repudiate the Sochi accord.
This is the third time in the past month that US forces have conducted defensive airstrikes following Shabaab attacks.
While the Taliban’s claim of controlling districts in Samangan and Paktika cannot be independently verified, the group has proven to be accurate when reporting on the status of districts.
The Taliban says its representatives met with an American delegation in Doha on Oct. 12. The group says that members of the “Political Office” of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” stressed that the “presence of foreign forces” is “the greatest obstacle obstructing true peace and solving problems.” The Taliban’s overall leader previously blessed “direct dialogue” with the Americans, so long as the talks focused on an American withdrawal.