KABUL (Pajhwok): US president Joe Biden has confirmed the killing of the top leader of Daesh terrorist group Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-QAurashi in a special forces raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday.
“Last night at my direction, US military forces in northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“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 added, using another acronym for Daesh.
A US official said al-Qurayshi exploded a bomb that killed him and members of his family.
US special forces carried out what the Pentagon said was a large-scale counterterrorism raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday. First responders at the scene reported 13 people were killed, including six children and four women.
Residents said helicopters flew overhead and US forces clashed with gunmen for more than two hours around a two-story house surrounded by olive trees. They described continuous gunfire and explosions that jolted the sleepy village of Atmeh near the Turkish border, an area dotted with camps for internally displaced people from Syria’s civil war.
The Pentagon did not identify the target of the raid.
“The mission was successful,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a brief statement. “There were no US casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available.”
It was the largest raid in the province since the 2019 Trump-era U.S. assault that killed the Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Qurayshi, who was also known as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, replaced al-Baghdadi after his death.