(First published on Radical Sister blog February 9th 2015)
Former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf is reported killed in a US drone strike in northern Helmand, Afghanistan when the car he was travelling in was targeted and 6 persons killed.
Rauf was a former Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee in charge of a Taliban unit before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. He spent 6 years in Guantanamo. Rauf recently parted company with the Afghan Taliban taking up with Islamic State to become deputy leader of IS in the region. Hafez Saeed Khan of Orakzai, former Emir of TTP in Oraksai is alleged to be the new head of the Wilayat Khorasan (Afghanistan/Pakistan Province) of IS.
DAWN media has just reported today that the war against the Islamic State militants had pushed Afghanistan out of the US priority list and that this was “evident when NATO ministers met in Brussels to discuss their strategy for 2015. And for the first time in 13 years, Afghanistan was not on their agenda.” There is a certain irony to this position as IS are gaining more followers in AfPak as was evident in a video released last month, when a number of Taliban commanders defected and gave “bayah” (allegiance) see following link,
“Are IS gaining a foothold in AfPak?”
With the news of Rauf’s death will we see an IS retaliation attack on US and allies assets in Afghanistan in the coming days?
With regard to the ongoing problem of drones, Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban) wrote their own article on the impact of US “terrorism” over Afghanistan back in November 2014 stating,
“US Drones are killing children, terrorizing families in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia etc. Such terror is brought by America in these countries dominated by Muslim population in which entire regions are being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies. Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meetings or anything that involves gathering in groups.
An anonymous ex-military officer of the United States has recently said that ‘if there’s one guy we’re trying to hit and there is thirty-four other people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die that day’. Even the United Nation’s and its Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions is concerned that the United States’ drone campaign is terrorism.”
Full article can be read on following link,
See also “The Gitmo Files: 2 of Afghanistan’s most wanted hid leadership roles while in US custody” (Long War Journal)
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.