US claims F-16s killed top Taliban leader
A team of US Marines called in an airstrike to eliminate a suspected Taliban leader on December 20, but conflicting reports suggest the so-called Taliban shadow governor has been dead for a while, Sputnik reported.
Military.com's Hope Hedge Seck reported December 27 that Qari Fida Mohammad had finally been taken out after planning improvised explosive device and suicide attacks in Afghanistan for more than a decade.
"Through the work of the intelligence sections as well as the operations in here," US Marine Corps Capt. Brian Hubert explained to Military.com, "we were able to conduct a strike on [Mohammad] a few days ago."
"We're very familiar with the battlespace now," Hubert said, which makes sense given the US military's 16-year presence in Afghanistan. Mohammad was evidently first noticed by a US surveillance drone in a vehicle with some deputies and a cousin. "When he was well-positioned as a target, the Marines called in two [US] Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons to execute the strike," the captain said.