The US killed the ISIS leader in a Special Operations raid in Syria that Joe Biden hailed as a success – although women and children are believed to be among the 13 dead.
President Biden tweeted on Thursday.
In a statement, the President said: “Last night at my direction, US military forces in northwestern Syria successfully conducted a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies. us, while at the same time making the world a safer place
“Thanks to the skill and courage of the Armed Forces, we were able to take down Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi – the leader of ISIS. All Americans returned safely from the operation.
“May God protect our army.”
Al-Qurashi became the leader of ISIS after former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a similar raid by US forces in 2019 in the nearby town of Barisha.
According to reports, at least 13 people were killed, including six children and four women, when US special forces stormed a house in northwestern Syria on Thursday.
Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed that US special forces had carried out a “successful” counter-terrorism mission.
“US Special Operations Forces under the control of US Central Command conducted a counterterrorism mission tonight in northwestern Syria,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
The mission was successful. There were no US casualties. “
It comes as haunting images of body parts are scattered around al-Qurashi’s home in rebel-held Syria’s Idlib province.
Jamil el-Deddo, a resident at a nearby refugee camp, told the AP: “The first few moments were terrifying, no one knew what was happening.
“We were worried that it might be a Syrian plane, which brings back memories of barrel bombs that were dropped on us.”
The top floor of the house was almost completely destroyed while blood can be seen on the walls and floors of the remaining structure and a bedroom with a baby’s wooden crib on the floor.
On another damaged wall, a blue plastic children’s swing still hangs and a nearby kitchen has been burned black from the damage.
Other residents – who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal – said they heard helicopters, explosions and machine gunfire.
This is the biggest raid in the province since 2019 trumpet-era US attack kills Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Idlib is widely controlled by Turkish-backed fighters, but is also an al-Qaida stronghold and home to some of its top special forces.
Other fighters, including extremists from the rival IS group, have also found refuge in the area.
The Syrian Civil Defense and the White Helmets first responders confirmed 13 people were killed in shelling and clashes that followed the US commando strike. They included six children and four women, it said.
Witnesses described witnessing a major attack on the ground, with US forces using loudspeakers urging women and children to leave the area.
Omar Saleh, a resident who lives nearby, said his doors and windows started rattling due to the low-pitched sound of a plane at 1:10 a.m. local time.
He then heard a man speaking Arabic with an Iraqi or Saudi accent over the loudspeaker, urging the women to surrender or leave the area.
This went on for 45 minutes. No response. Then the machine gun went off, Saleh said. He said the shooting continued for two hours, as the plane circled low over the area.
We were worried it might be a Syrian plane that brought back memories of barrel bombs that were dropped on us.
Atmeh Jamil el-Deddo resident
Others reported hearing at least one loud explosion during the operation.
A US official said that one of the helicopters involved in the raid had a mechanical problem and had to be blown up on the ground.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops from the US-led coalition using helicopters landed in the area and attacked a house. It said the force clashed with fighters on the ground.
The military operation has made headlines on social media, with tweets from the area depicting helicopters firing around a building near Atmeh.
In the past, the US has used drones to kill top al-Qaida agents in Idlib, which at one point was home to the largest concentration of leaders since Osama bin Laden’s time in Afghanistan.
The fact that special forces landed on the ground showed that the target was supposed to be of high value.
A similar attack in Pakistan, in 2011, killed bin Laden.
Thursday’s covert operation took place as the Islamic State group reassert itself in Syria and Iraq, which carried out some of the biggest attacks since it was defeated in 2019.
In recent weeks and months, the group has conducted a series of operations in the region, including a 10-day offensive late last month to capture a prison in northeastern Syria.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4603497/isis-leader-the-professor-killed-by-us-special-ops/ ISIS leader killed in US Special Forces raid in Syria as Biden hails ‘success’ and ‘women & children’ among 13 dead