U.S. Army Rangers Kill ISIS-K Leader in Combined Air/Ground Raid in Afghanistan.

May 08 2017 - 8 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Army Confirms U.S. Raid in Afghanistan Following MOAB Strike Killed ISIS-K Leader.

The U.S. military confirmed in a statement on May 7 that the ISIS-K leader in Afghanistan, Sheikh Abdul Hasib, was killed by a combined air/ground operation last month.

The raid included airstrikes by U.S. F-16s, AC-130s, drones and AH-64 Apache helicopters along with elite Army Rangers from the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment of Fort Benning, Georgia. The combined air/ground raid followed the April 13 airstrike by a U.S. Special Operations C-130 using the first massive eleven-ton GBU-43B MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) ever dropped in combat.

Two Army Rangers, Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22 years old from Normal, Illinois, of Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23 years old from Kettering, Ohio, of Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment were killed in action during the raid. A statement issued by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan reads: “USFOR-A is investigating the possibility that the two Rangers were accidentally killed by friendly fire during the more than three-hour fight.” Both of the Army Rangers killed were on their third deployment to Afghanistan.

Army Rangers Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas were killed in the raid. (US Army)

The Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, released a statement saying the raid by Army Rangers was “another important step in our relentless campaign to defeat ISIS-K in 2017.” General Nicholson also wrote, “This is the second ISIS-K emir we have killed in nine months, along with dozens of their leaders and hundreds of their fighters,” Nicholson said. “For more than two years, ISIS-K has waged a barbaric campaign of death, torture and violence against the Afghan people, especially those in southern Nangarhar.” (Editor’s Note: “ISIS-K” is the designation for “ISIS-Khorasan”, the ISIS cell in the region.)

Photo (released on ISIL channel on January 23) from ISIL patrol in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan prior to the U.S. raid.

Efforts to neutralize ISIS-K leader Sheikh Abdul Hasib were accelerated following a deadly terrorist raid directed by Hasib earlier this year on March 8. The ISIS-K terrorists dressed in hospital uniforms to infiltrate the Sardar Mohammed Daud Khan hospital in Afghanistan after one of their suicide bombers initiated the attack by blowing himself up at the south gate of the facility. Over 30 people were killed in the hospital following the six-hour attack by the terrorists.

The Rangers from the 3rd Battalion, 75th Regiment were spearheading a combined air/ground operation in cooperation with Afghan forces that included armed surveillance RPV’s, U.S. Air Force F-16s and an Air Force AC-130 gunship along with U.S. Army AH-64 Apache gunship helicopters. Over 50 Army Rangers participated in the raid that lasted “several hours” and began at approximately 22:30 local time under cover of darkness. The Rangers were inserted into the area by helicopter.

File photo of aerial gunner Airman 1st Class Sean reloads 40mm rounds into an auto-cannon aboard an AC-130U Spooky gunship during exercise Teak Knife 12-3 above Pilsung Range, Republic of Korea, Sept. 12, 2012. The exercise is part of a continuous exercise program between U.S. and ROK forces to help strengthen and enhance the readiness of Republic of Korea and U.S. forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)

Army Ranger teams include members trained to coordinate airstrikes in conjunction with their ground operations. However, de-conflicting airstrikes in close proximity to enemy troops in the dark and in mountainous terrain, and airstrikes within 1000 meters usually called “danger close”, is inherently dangerous.

Because of the possibility of a formal investigation into the deaths of Sgt. Rogers and Sgt. Thomas no details have been released about the specific aircraft or units that conducted the airstrikes supporting the Ranger raid that neutralized Abdul Hasib.

Top image: file photo of an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Aug. 12, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey /Released)

 

  • Earl Tilford

    We need to be harvesting with big reapers not just picking. Obliterate ISIS

  • David Coston

    God Bless. Looks like we have effectively shutdown ISIS-K in Afghanistan. This goes to show that when the leash is off we can get the job done.

    • veej7485

      taliban operate in 50% of the country…

      • Sam Pensive

        maybe a traffic cop role curfew would help the nation’s stability.
        anyone out and walking their RPG’s after dark is dead meat.

    • sglover

      “Looks like we have effectively shutdown ISIS-K in Afghanistan. ”

      Oh my God….. Unreal.

  • WpnsLoader175

    These kinds of raids are basically our only option. We do not have large scale ground forces nor the ability to project enough support to sustain such a force for very long at this time. Support bases like K2 and Manas are gone, closest support base is “The Died” in Qatar, so it will be tough to get things done in Afghanistan on a large scale. Also, The Aviationist should by now realize that the only F-16s currently deployed to Incirlik AB are Turks (The Netherlands jets left. Still, these kinds of missions do have a role to play in such a campaign.

  • sglover

    So once again, at the cost of some soldiers and a few tens of millions of dollars, we’ve killed a guy whose place will certainly be filled within weeks, if not days, if not minutes. We don’t have the faintest clue of what we’re doing in Afghanistan, or even what we might want to do. We’re there simply because we’re there. It’s the world’s biggest self-licking ice cream cone. This is the kind of brain-dead zombie shuffle that’s taken lots of empires into the rocks.

    • Sean Glennie

      One of the reasons of why NATO’s still in Afghanistan is because of the opium drug trade.