Washington: The death of Sakhr al-Taifi, al Qaeda`s second in command in Afghanistan, is a major blow to the terrorist outfit in the war-torn country, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
"Sakhr al-Taifi was responsible for commanding foreign insurgents and directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces," Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, told reporters at a news conference.
"He frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al Qaeda leadership. He also supplied weapons and equipment to insurgents in the east and managed transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan," he said.
Little said after identifying al-Taifi and an additional al Qaeda terrorist and taking careful steps to ensure no civilians were in the area, US forces engaged the targets with a precision airstrike.
A follow-on assessment determined no civilians were harmed in this operation, he added.
"This operation is another example of our ongoing efforts to degrade and weaken al Qaeda`s leadership and a reminder of the mission we are pursuing to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for al Qaeda and or its militant allies," Little said.
"Despite the unprecedented pressure we have applied, al Qaeda remains a threat to our forces and to our homeland, and we will continue to -- continue to pursue our goal of dismantling and ultimately defeating them," he said.