On February 3, 2022, the White House issued US President Joseph Biden’s statement that American troops eliminated the head of Islamic State* (ISIS*) in Syria:
“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in the northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies, and make the world a safer place. 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. I will deliver remarks to the American people later this morning. May God protect our troops”.
The raid targeted Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi (also known as Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla), who took over as head of the militant group on Oct. 31, 2019, just days after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a US raid in the same area, AP reports. A US official said he died as al-Baghdadi did, by exploding a bomb that killed himself and members of his family, including women and children, as U.S. forces approached.
The operation came as IS* has been trying for a resurgence, with a series of attacks in the region, including a 10-day assault late last month to seize a prison.
US special forces landed in helicopters and assaulted a house in a rebel-held corner of Syria, clashing for two hours with gunmen, witnesses said. Residents described continuous gunfire and explosions that jolted the town of Atmeh near the Turkish border, an area dotted with camps for internally displaced people from Syria’s civil war.
First responders reported that 13 people had been killed, including six children and four women.
* Terrorist organization banned in US, Russia and worldwide.