U.S airstrike kills Senior Al Qaeda leader

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On Saturday the Pentagon confirmed the death of well-known Al Qaeda militant leader Qari Yasin. Yasin's death was the result of a U.S. counter-terrorism airstrike this month on March 19 in Afghanistan. In 2008 Qari Yasin plotted and executed a bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing at least 40 innocent civilians and wounding 250. Later in 2009, the 'mastermind' attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team, killing six Pakistani policemen, two civilians and injured six members of the cricket team.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed in a statement, "the death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice." According to the Long War Journal, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani characterizes Yasin "as one of the greatest trainers of explosives and electronics in the fields of Jihad." It has become clear to U.S. military forces that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) tactic of using innocent civilians as "human shields" has increased difficulty and risk in their work.

The Donald Trump administration is currently under fire with the increase of civilian casualties as a result of the increased drone strikes across Iraq and Syria. Airwars is a project for tracking civilian deaths as a result of drone attacks. The non-profit organisation estimates that the U.S. has caused close to 1000 civilian deaths in only one month. Yasin's death in the Paktika province southeast of Afghanistan shows that the groups have discovered sanctuaries in this area while surrounding states demand that they are shut down.


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