Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi had succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who led the group when it took over swathes of Syria and Iraq, ruling over millions of people at the height of its self-declared caliphate.
President of the United States Joe Biden today said the US special forces conducted a counter-terrorism raid in northwest Syria in which Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the "horrible" current leader of Islamic State, was confirmed killed. Rescue workers said at least 13 people also died in the operation, including women and children.
"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. All Americans have returned safely from the operation," Biden said in a statement.
Quraishi had succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who led the group when it took over swathes of Syria and Iraq, ruling over millions of people at the height of its self-declared caliphate.
Baghdadi was killed in October 2019 by US troops--also in a raid in north Syria--after Islamic State fighters were defeated on the battlefield. The group is now waging insurgent attacks in Iraq and Syria.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby earlier described Thursday's raid as a successful counter-terrorism mission, saying there were no U.S. casualties.
Syrian rescue workers said at least 13 people including six children and four women were killed by clashes and explosions that erupted after the raid began, targeting a house in the Atmeh area near the Turkish border.
Residents said helicopters landed and heavy gunfire and explosions were heard during the raid that began around midnight. U.S. forces used loud speakers to warn women and children to leave the area, they said.
First Published: IST