By Kainoelani Lee
By Kainoelani Lee
Rabat – Leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, was targeted by a drone strike, in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, according to the New York Times.
United States Officials stated on Saturday that the drone strike has been the most significant American incursion inside Pakistan since Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden, the Queda leader, in 2011.
U.S. military are still assessing on whether Mansour was killed in the strike, which was carried out by an unmanned drone, according to Peter Cook, the Pentagon Press Secretary.
Cook said that Mansour was “actively involved” in planning attacks in Kabul and across Afghanistan, and had been “an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government that could lead to an end to the conflict.”
The strike occurred around 6 a.m. Eastern Time, last Saturday, and that Mansour and a second adult male fighter traveling with him in a vehicle were probably killed, according to a United States official who opted to remain anonymous. Officials remain cautious due to early assessments of deaths of militants and terrorist leaders in American strikes that proved inaccurate in the past.
The drone strike, authorized by President Obama, took place in a remote area of of Pakistan, and was carried out by several unmanned aircraft, operated by United States Special Operations forces.
“Since the death of Mullah Omar and Mansour’s assumption of leadership, the Taliban have conducted many attacks that have resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and Afghan security forces as well as numerous U.S. and coalition personnel,” Cook said in a statement announcing the airstrike.
The strike against Mansour has made it clear that although the Obama administration has spoken of an end of combat operations in Afghanistan, and has focused on fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the fighting in Afghanistan, as well as the risk of increasing militancy there is still rampant.