US Kills Taliban Leader in Pakistan

President Obama on Monday said the drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansur does not mean the US is “re-entering day-to-day combat operations,” though it does show the fight against the group is not limited to Afghanistan. An Air Force remotely piloted aircraft on Saturday killed Mansur in a remote area of Pakistan along the Afghanistan border. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Mansur was “actively involved” in planning attacks “across Afghanistan.” President Obama, speaking during a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, emphasized that the strike is part of the US mission to help Afghanistan secure its own country. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday Pakistan was notified of the airstrike, but he did not clarify if it was before or after it occurred. Kerry said the US and Afghanistan is open to talks with the Taliban. “We are prepared to have talks,” Kerry said. “But if people want to stand in the way of peace, continue to threaten, and kill, and blow people up, we have no recourse but to respond, and I think we responded appropriately.” (White House statement.)