Largest US Attack in Syria Since 2019: US Units Kill New IS Leader in Counter-Terror Mission
The US military took out Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the new leader of Islamic State (IS), from Wednesday to Thursday during an operation in northwestern Syria. US President Joe Biden confirmed this on Thursday.
For now, the Americans have not released many details about the mission, but eyewitnesses tell various foreign media that several American helicopters were involved. For example, they would have already landed near the refugee camps in the town of Atmé. During the mission, they came under heavy fire from anti-aircraft fire. It would have been about two hours before the helicopters took off.
New IS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi is said to have been disabled at the start of the mission after detonating a bomb. Several members of his family are also said to have died. The house in which the man stayed is largely in ruins.
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was the successor to terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He was killed in a similar way in 2019 when American troops stormed his hideout in Syria. IS had declared a caliphate in that country and neighbouring Iraq, but that only lasted a few years.
The operation may also have caused civilian casualties, including women and children. However, a source at the White House could not confirm that. “All American soldiers are safe,” the US president said. He later addresses the American people.
Aid workers would have found only three bodies afterwards, writes The Guardian. The other bodies are said to have been taken by the locals. Photos taken inside the house are said to show the impact of a suicide bombing.
In Syria, where a civil war has been raging for years, a military coalition led by the US is fighting ISIS. By the summer of 2014, the terror militia had brought large areas of northern Iraq under its control. Shortly afterwards, the jihadists proclaimed the caliphate, which also included regions of neighbouring Syria. The military victory over IS followed in March 2019, but the terror militia remains active in Iraq and Syria and carries out attacks on a regular basis.