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    ISIS-K commander killed, true colors revealed

    ISIS-K commander killed, true colors revealed

    Courtesy Photo | A U.S. airstrike killed Qari Hikmatullah and his bodyguard in Bal Chiragh district,...... read more read more

    A U.S. airstrike killed Qari Hikmatullah and his bodyguard in Bal Chiragh district, Faryab province, Afghanistan, Apr. 5, 2018. At the time of his death, Hikmatullah was the senior ISIS-K commander and the main facilitator of ISIS-K fighters into northern Afghanistan.

    ISIS-K in Jowzjan province is the main conduit for external support and foreign fighters from Central Asian states into Afghanistan. Hikmatullah was the key leader for those operations.

    Hikmatullah, a native Uzbekistani, had a history of divided loyalties; first as an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader, followed by allegiance to the Taliban, and ultimately ISIS-K.

    ISIS-K reportedly named Mawlavi Habibul Rahman, another native Uzbekistani, as Hikmatullah’s successor. Rahman’s succession to a leadership role raises concerns across ISIS followers in remote, isolated areas of Jowzjan. Rahman has had intermittent ties to both the Taliban and GIRoA, highlighting the difficulty ISIS-K is having replacing leaders.

    “ASSF and U.S. counter-terrorism forces killed Hikmatullah and they will kill any successors,” said General John Nicholson, commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. “ISIA-K will be eliminated.”

    A series of Afghan Special Security Forces and U.S. Special Operations Forces counterrorism operations have depleted ISIS-K of viable leadership options in Jowzjan.

    ASSF and U.S. SOF killed an ISIS-K platoon-level commander and another terrorist fighter during a partnered nighttime raid in Mughul, Mar. 26-27, 2018. Four days earlier on Mar. 22, ASSF and USSOF eliminated four ISIS-K fighters in Darzab.

    On Mar. 16, a U.S. airstrike killed ISIS-K platoon commanders, Omair and Abu Samaya, as the duo met in Sar-e Pul province. Later that evening, an ASSF nighttime raid on the ISIS-K headquarters in Jowzjan resulted in the removal of another 13 terrorists. Afghan forces captured Omair and Abu Samaya’s predecessor Khitab Aka, ISIS-K’s former head facilitator of foreign fighters in Jowzjan on Jan. 28.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.09.2018
    Date Posted: 04.09.2018 07:18
    Story ID: 272213
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 1,739
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