Hafiz Saeed Khan gets his virgins. Islamic State's emir for Khorasan province (eastern Afghanistan) was killed in a July 26 airstrike in Nangarhar, the US military has confirmed. LWJ observes that 'Khan and his followers were so violent in Nangarhar that he even alienated Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who served as an unofficial spokesman for Khorasan province.'. Stratfor adds that 'Khan's death has been falsely reported before, but Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal said he had confirmation from security forces.'
Russia / Turkey rapprochement. Late last week, Turkish and Russian officials met in St. Petersburg to discuss cooperation on economic and Middle East issues (chiefly the Syria situation).
Totten: Iran payment wasn't ransom ... ... but it was ransom.
Simon: Which is worse ... ... an October surprise or a December surprise?