Middle East shock: Top Al-Qaeda commander killed in joint US-Afghan raid on Taliban


ONE of Al-Qaeda’s top commanders was killed following a US raid on a Taliban compound last month.

  • Taliban leader speaks to SAS veteran about rise of terrorist group

Asim Omar, head of the terrorist organisation’s South Asia division, was hiding in the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala, when the joint US-Afghan attack was carried out on September 23. He was killed along with six of his fellow jihadis in a fierce gunfight, that left a further 22 Taliban fighters, including foreigners, dead. An approximated 14 people were also arrested, including five Pakistani nationals and one Bangladeshi.

The success of the operation was marred by the tragic death of guests at a nearby wedding according to claims from a spokesman for the Afghanistan Government.

Unfortunately, at least 40 of the wedding guests were killed, when they were caught up in the crossfire of the raging battle.

A spokesman for Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani expressed sincere regret for the deaths, saying “we are saddened and devastated to hear that civilians have lost their lives in an incident in Helmand despite President Ghani’s repeated call for extra cautions in conducting military operations.”

The US has emphatically denied any responsibility for the killings.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

US special forces in Northern Afghanistan

US special forces in Northern Afghanistan

Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan pointed the finger of blame at the Taliban.

He told reporters that the deaths occurred when Taliban members detonated their suicide vests, immediately killing the bystanders.

The US has now been fighting the Taliban for almost two decades, ever since it invaded the country in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

President Trump has vowed to bring all US troops home from foreign fields of action and had been seeking a peace deal with the Taliban.

Middle East: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani

Middle East: Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani

In a blow to his plans, Trump had to pull out of planned peace talks with top officials from the Taliban last month, after it emerged they had killed a US soldier.

This set back has not deterred Trump from recalling US troops in Syria.

In a surprise move, he announced on Monday his decision to withdraw troops from the region and step aside for Turkey.

The US President told a news conference that: “We want to bring our troops back home and I got elected on that.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump



“I fully understand both sides but I promised to bring our troops home.

“We’re not a police force.”

But his decision was roundly criticised by Republicans in Congress, including some of his staunchest allies.

Alexander Blackman recalls shooting injured Taliban insurgent

They see this as a gross betrayal of the Kurds, who have played a major role in defeating ISIS in Syria and have lost up to 11,000 fighters in the process.

However, Trump robustly defended his decision in a long series of tweets.

He tweeted: “The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

“We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight.

“When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.”

Updated: October 9, 2019 — 5:19 am

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