The fresh head of the ISIS terror group was killed during a daredevil overnight raid in northwestern Syria, President Biden declared Thursday.
“Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi—the leader of ISIS,”
Biden said in a brief statement issued by the White House. “All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”
“May God protect our troops,”
Biden’s statement concluded. The White House stated that the president would give further comments from the White House at 9:30 a.m.
Numerous outlets announced that al-Qurayshi had exploded a suicide vest during the raid, killing members of his family was well as himself.
The Associated Press, citing first responders, reported that 13 people had died, along with six children and four women.The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights established on social media that there were 13 deaths. nonetheless, the organization said only four of them were children and three were women.
“Only US command and forces participating in this operation know the identities of the target individuals,”
the organization tweeted.
It was not instantly clear whether all of those killed were members of al-Qurayshi’s family and inner circle. Other possible targets of the raid have not been named.
Al-Qurayshi has acted as the leader of ISIS since October 2019. He superseded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up in a identical fashion as American forces closed in.
The action took place in the village of Atmeh, near Syria’s border with Turkey. The raid, which lasted approximately two hours, was the largest in the province considering the operation that aimed al-Baghdadi.
People on the ground declared seeing body parts around aimed building, although local residents said the raid engaged helicopters, detonations, and machine gun fire. US troops were as well claimed seen using loudspeakers urging women and children to leave the area.
The top floor of the building was nearly entirely destroyed in the raid, with most of the walls and ceiling knocked down. Rubble was seen encircling the building and blood was spotted on the remaining walls and floor.
One helicopter used in the raid suffered a mechanical problem and had to be blown up on the ground, a US official confirmed to the AP.
Last October, the US military declared that a drone strike had killed top Al Qaeda leader, Abdul Hamid al-Matar.