‘Coward’ Islamic State leader blows himself and his family up during US raid in Syria

US

The leader of Islamic State has been killed during a raid by US special forces in Syria.

Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died by exploding a bomb that killed himself and members of his family as American forces approached a house in the rebel-held province of Idlib, a US official said.

He was among at least 13 people including four women who died during the operation, which lasted two hours.

At least six children were also among the victims, with one girl badly injured as the violence unfolded, children’s charity UNICEF said in a statement.

A doll lies among debris inside a house in the aftermath of a counter-terrorism mission conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Forces in Atmeh, Syria, February 3, 2022 in this picture obtained from social media. Courtesy of Mohamed Al-Daher/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Image:
A doll lies among debris inside a house in the aftermath of a counter-terrorism mission conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Forces Pic: Mohamed Al-Daher/via REU

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the mission was “successful”, adding there were no US military casualties.

US President Joe Biden announced the killing in a statement, saying: “Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.”

He said troops “successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place”.

More on Islamic State

Mr Biden said he will address the American people later today, adding: “May God protect our troops.”

03 February 2022, Syria, Atmeh: People inspect the damage in a house following a raid by the US-led International Coalition in the town of Atmeh. At least 13 people, including four children, were killed in the counterterrorism operation mounted early Thursday by US special forces. Photo by: Anas Alkharboutli/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
PIC:Ap
Image:
People inspect the damage in a house following a raid by the US-led International Coalition in Atmeh.

A US administration official blamed the civilian casualties on the explosive used by militants.

Al-Quraishi, also known as Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, was named as the second leader of IS after founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in October 2019.

Military devices are shown outside a destroyed house after an operation by the U.S. military in the Syrian village of Atmeh in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. U.S. special forces carried out what the Pentagon said was a successful, large-scale counterterrorism raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday. Local residents and activists said civilians were also among the dead. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)
PIC:AP
Image:
Military devices outside a house after the operation by the U.S. military in Atmeh

“While we are still assessing the results of this operation, this appears to be the same cowardly terrorist tactic we saw in the 2019 operation that eliminated al-Baghdadi,” the US official said.

IS has been trying for a resurgence in the region, launching a series of attacks that include an assault on a prison last month.

Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces man a checkpoint in Hassakeh, northeast Syria, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.Clashes between U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters and militants continued for a fourth day Sunday near the prison in northeastern Syria that houses thousands of members of IS, the Kurdish force said. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)
Image:
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fighters at a checkpoint in Hassakeh, northeast Syria

The US raid began at around midnight as helicopters landed and heavy gunfire was heard, according to residents.

American troops used loudspeakers to warn women and children to leave the area.

The top floor of the house was destroyed during the clash and body parts were seen scattered near the site.

People check at a destroyed house after an operation by the U.S. military in the Syrian village of Atmeh, in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. U.S. special operations forces conducted a large-scale counterterrorism raid in northwestern Syria overnight Thursday, in what the Pentagon said was a ???successful mission.??? Residents and activists reported multiple deaths including civilians from the attack. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)
PIC:AP
Image:
The remains of a house after a U.S. military operation in Atmeh, close to the Turkish border

Residents told of the relentless gunfire and explosions that jolted the town of Atmeh, near the Turkish border, in northwest Syria – which is home to many camps for people displaced from Syria’s civil war.

Areas in the town populated by civilians were “severely damaged” according to reports, the UNICEF statement said.

Since the year began, violence has heavily escalated in and around Idlib in Syria’s northwest, which is home to 1.2 million children in need of assistance, the charity added.

Islamic State group fighters, who surrendered after clashing with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, at Gweiran Prison, in Hassakeh. Pic: SDF/AP
Image:
Islamic State group fighters, who surrendered after clashing with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, at Gweiran Prison, in Hassakeh. Pic: SDF/AP

“Many families in the area are internally displaced, having fled violence in other parts of Syria over the years.

“Last year, nearly 70 per cent of grave violations recorded against children in Syria occurred in the northwest.

“This recent increase in violence comes amid freezing weather conditions and record sub-zero temperatures in Syria and the region.

“At least five Syrian children died in the north of Syria due to harsh winter conditions in the past two weeks alone”.

Articles You May Like

Lightning force a Game 6: What we learned as the series heads back to Tampa
Katie Price spared jail after breaching restraining order with ‘highly offensive and inflammatory’ text
Polestar completes SPAC merger and begins trading on nasdaq under ticker $PSNY
Tech leaders react to Roe v. Wade reversal
DDA Approves Proposal to Set Up Eco Park for E-Waste Management in Narela