WASHINGTON, May 21, 2016 —
The Defense Department conducted an airstrike targeting Taliban leader Mullah Mansur today in a remote area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to a statement issued by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.
Mansur became Taliban leader after the previous leader, Mullah Omar, died from tuberculosis in April 2013. The press secretary called Mansur “a threat to Afghan civilians and security forces, our personnel and coalition partners."
According to the statement, Mansur is “actively involved with planning attacks against facilities in Kabul and across Afghanistan." Under his leadership, Cook said, “the Taliban have conducted many attacks that have resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and Afghan security forces as well as numerous U.S. and coalition personnel.” He went on to call the Taliban leader “an obstacle to peace” who prevents the Taliban from participating in peace talks with with the Afghan government.
It is not yet known whether Mansur survived the airstrike, Cook noted, adding "We are still assessing the results of the strike and will provide more information as it becomes available.”