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US Special Forces Kill ISIS Leader In Syria During Late Night Raid

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, it was unknown that al-Qurayshi triggered a suicide vest as U.S. forces began the raid. The explosion killed the ISIS leader and several others including his family.

U.S. special forces killed the leader of the Islamic State during a successful operation conducted in northwest Syria late Wednesday evening, the Pentagon said.

The mission resulted in the death of its target Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the known leader of the terror group ISIS, according to the Department of Defense. The operation resulted in no American casualties and all forces were safely evacuated.

“U.S. Special Operations forces under the control of U.S. Central Command conducted a counterterrorism mission this evening in northwest Syria,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. “The mission was successful. There were no U.S. casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available.”

At least 13 people, including six children and four women, were killed during the operation, according to the Syria Civil Defense (SCD), which confirmed the raid on Thursday. SCD personnel arrived to the scene but were unable to get in close proximity due to ongoing clashes until around 3:07 a.m. local time.

The SCD added that it transported a child, whose entire family had been killed during the raid, to the hospital.

Senior administration officials indicated that al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide bomb during the raid, leading to the death of his family members, according to Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs.

“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,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Thursday.

“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,” the president said. “All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”

Biden will deliver remarks about the operation on Thursday morning.

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