The Efficacy of Leadership Decapitation

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The Pentagon announced Friday that U.S. forces have killed Abu Sayed, the leader of ISIS-Khorasan – ISIS’ affiliate in Afghanistan – in a drone strike conducted in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar Province. In a statement released after the announcement of Sayed’s death, General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said “this operation is another success in our campaign to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan in 2017. Abu Sayed is the third ISIS-K emir we have killed in the last year and we will continue until they are annihilated. There is no safe haven for ISIS-K in Afghanistan.”

In addition to Sayed, former leader of ISIS-K, Abdul Hasib, was killed during a joint U.S.-Afghan raid in April, while another former emir of the group, Hafiz Sayed Khan, was killed in a July 2016 U.S. drone strike.

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