U.S. announces death of Islamic State leader in Syria after operation in northwestern Syria

ISIS fighter’s death ‘significantly’ degrades group’s capabilities, Biden has said

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported Tuesday that the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, Maher al Agal, has been killed during an operation against the organization carried out in the northwest of the country.

Al Agal was also one of the five top leaders of the jihadist group and his death followed a mission carried out on the outskirts of Jindairis, CENTCOM said in a statement.

Also, one of Al Agal’s main allies was seriously wounded during the attack, which resulted in no civilian casualties. The U.S. military has indicated that al Agal had been conducting activities to strengthen Islamic State networks outside of Iraq and Syria.

“This strike reaffirms CENTCOM’s strong commitment to the region and to the fight to take down Islamic State,” said Joel Buccino, spokesman for the unified security command.

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In this regard, he said that “the removal of this leader will undermine the organization’s ability to carry out attacks on a global scale.” “Islamic State continues to pose a serious threat to the United States and its partners in the region. CENTCOM maintains a significant presence in the area and will continue to address regional security threats,” Buccino said.

For his part, U.S. President Joe Biden has noted that this attack was carried out “successfully” and that the death of the Islamic State fighter “significantly” degrades the group’s ability to plan, resource and conduct its operations in the region.

“It sends a powerful message to all terrorists who threaten our homeland and our interests around the world. The United States will be relentless in its efforts to bring him to justice,” he has indicated, adding that it represents the “culmination of determined and meticulous intelligence work.”

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“It demonstrates that the United States does not require thousands of troops on combat missions to identify and eliminate threats to our country,” he said, as the White House said in a statement.

This operation has been carried out after Islamic State confirmed last March the death of its leader, Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Quraishi, following the announcement by Biden of an operation carried out by US special forces in the province of Idlib, in northwestern Syria.

Al Quraishi took over as head of Islamic State following the death of the jihadist group’s previous chief, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, in a similar operation carried out in October 2019 by special forces in Idlib, near the border with Turkey.

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