By DoD News
By Cheryl Pellerin
U.S. and Afghan forces have confirmed the Aug. 10 death of Abdul Rahman, a provincial emir in Afghanistan’s Kunar province for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria affiliate ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said Monday.
In an operational update for Pentagon reporters, Manning said Rahman was killed in an airstrike along with three other ISIS-K members in Kunar’s Dara-e-Pech district in northeastern Afghanistan.
Rahman was a primary candidate to become the ISIS-K emir after the death of Abu Sayed in a July 11 strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar province.
“The death of Abdul Rahman deals yet another blow to the senior leadership of ISIS-K, showing there are no safe havens in Afghanistan,” Manning added, noting that U.S. and Afghan forces are keeping pressure on ISIS-K to disrupt their expansion plans — part of ongoing operations to defeat the group in Afghanistan.
In northern Iraq this weekend, two U.S. soldiers were killed and five others were injured, Manning said, as an Army artillery section conducted a counterfire mission against an ISIS mortar site when an incident occurred.
“There is no indication that ISIS had anything to do with this,” Manning said, noting that the injured soldiers were evacuated by air and that two eventually lost their lives. The other five soldiers did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
The incident is now under investigation, and the unit will release information as appropriate, he added.
Also in Iraq, in eastern and western Mosul, the colonel said holding forces consisting of federal police continue to conduct security operations and assess security requirements.
“To the west of Mosul, the 9th and 15th [Iraqi Army Divisions] maintain defensive positions on the western forward line of troops near Tel Afar,” Manning said, “and the coalition continues to support the [Iraqis] as they reset and prepare for follow-on operations in the western Ninevah province.
In Syria, today is day 71 of operations to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, Manning said.
“Yesterday the [Syrian Democratic Forces] liberated about [.4 square miles] in Raqqa and about 55 percent of the total area of Raqqa has been cleared,” he said.
On the western axis, the SDF maintained the forward line of troops despite ISIS sniper activity, and on the eastern axis, the SDF maintained incremental gains in the Old City north of the main supply route, Manning added.
On the southern forward line of troops south of the Euphrates River, the SDF maintained their defensive positions, he said, and the east-west deconfliction line south of the Euphrates is holding as regime forces remain south and SDF forces remain north of the agreed-upon line.