SOHR: Islamic State Leader Killed In US Military Raid
President Joe Biden stated on Thursday (Feb 3) a worldwide “terrorist risk” was eliminated when the top of the Islamic State group blew himself up after US particular forces swooped on his Syrian hideout in an “extremely difficult” nighttime helicopter raid.
“The United States military forces efficiently eliminated a significant terrorist risk to the world, the worldwide leader of ISIS,” Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, Biden stated in nationally televised remarks.
The operation dealt the largest setback to the militant IS organisation since Qurashi’s predecessor, the better-known Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a US commando raid in the identical Syrian area of Idlib in 2019.
In temporary, sombre remarks delivered in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, Biden stated he ordered an assault by troops, somewhat than merely bombing the home the place the IS leader was positioned, in order to minimise civilian casualties, despite the fact that this meant “a lot better danger to our personal individuals”.
The home contained “households, together with youngsters” and “as our troops approached to seize the terrorist, in a last act of determined cowardice, with no regard to the lives of his family or others in the constructing, he selected to blow himself up,” Biden stated.
Qurashi didn’t merely set off a suicide vest to kill himself, however detonated the complete “third ground” of the residence in the city of Atme, Biden stated, “taking a number of members of his household with him”.
An Iraqi from the Turkmen-majority metropolis of Tal Afar, Qurashi was also called Amir Mohammed Said Abd al-Rahman al-Mawla. He changed Baghdadi after his loss of life in a US raid in October 2019, which additionally ended when Baghdadi blew himself up.
The US authorities had provided a US$10 million reward for data resulting in Qurashi, one of many world’s most wished fugitives.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, instructed AFP that “13 individuals at the very least had been killed, amongst them 4 youngsters and three girls, throughout the operation”.
Initial reviews that adopted the operation close to the city of Atme had recommended the goal may need been a senior militant near IS’ rival group Al-Qaeda.
AFP correspondents had been in a position to go to the home regarded as the place Qurashi blew himself up.
Before the identification of the raid’s goal emerged, the proprietor of the constructing the place Qurashi was staying described his tenant as main an bizarre life.
“This man lived right here for 11 months. I did not see something suspicious or discover something,” the owner, who gave his identify solely as Abu Ahmad, instructed AFP.
“He would come and pay the hire and depart. He lived together with his three youngsters and his spouse. His widowed sister and her daughter had been dwelling above them,” he stated.
A witness instructed AFP he woke to the sound of helicopters.
“Then we heard small explosions. Then we heard stronger explosions,” Abu Ali, a displaced Syrian dwelling in Atme stated, including that US forces instructed residents “to not fear”.
“We’re simply coming to this home … to rid you of the terrorists,” the person quoted the US forces as saying in their loudspeaker messages.
The American helicopters took off from a military base in the Kurdish-controlled metropolis of Kobani, Abdel Rahman stated.
Elite, US-trained members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces joined the operation, he added.
Farhad Shami, who heads the media workplace of the US-backed SDF, stated the operation focused “essentially the most harmful worldwide terrorists”.
Kurdish forces had additionally taken half in the raid in opposition to Baghdadi in 2019.
The two-story constructing of uncooked cinder blocks bore the scars of an intense battle, with torn window frames, charred ceilings and a partly collapsed roof.
In among the rooms, blood was splattered excessive on the partitions and stained the ground, affected by foam mattresses and shards from smashed doorways.
US particular forces have carried out a number of operations in opposition to high-value militant targets in the Idlib space in latest months.
The space, the final enclave to actively oppose the federal government of Bashar al-Assad, is house to greater than three million individuals and is dominated by militants.
The area is generally administered by a physique loyal to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a gaggle led by former members of what was as soon as Al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria.
Atme is house to an enormous camp for households displaced by the decade-old battle and which consultants have warned was being utilized by jihadists as a spot to cover amongst civilians.
On Oct 23, the US military introduced the killing of senior Al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar.
The loss of life of the militant group’s high leader comes two weeks after the group staged an enormous assault to spring IS fighters from a Kurdish-run jail in northeastern Syria.
Hundreds had been killed in what was IS’s most high-profile operation for the reason that demise of its “caliphate” practically three years earlier.