ISIS chief killed in anti-terrorist operation
Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed during a recent U.S. counterterrorism operation.
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During the early hours of Thursday morning, Feb. 3, U.S. special forces raided northwestern Syria to capture the top leader of the ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the Biden administration said.
"Last night, at my direction, U.S. military forces in northwest Syria successfully conducted a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place," the president said in a statement.
Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation. Thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces, we have removed from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 3, 2022
The president also confirmed that all Americans who participated in the operation returned safely, and justified the military action on the grounds that it was done "to protect the American people" and their allies, and "make the world a safer place."
Leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi killed his family and then committed suicide after setting off a bomb at the start of the operation, a senior Pentagon official said. Biden deemed it an "act of desperate cowardice."
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), there were clashes that lasted two hours without being able to specify the identity of the wanted jihadists.
"At least nine people were killed in the operation, including two children and a woman," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the OSDH.
Qurayshi succeeded ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019 after his death. By the time Qurayshi took over the organization, the vast swathes of territory controlled by the group at its peak, an area larger than the size of the United Kingdom, had largely evaporated.
Also known as "the teacher" or "the destroyer," Amir Mohammed Said Abdel Rahman al Mawla, a jihadist with multiple nicknames granted "the emir" title to Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Quraishi, who presided over, among other catastrophes, the massacre of the Yazidi minority.