The Biden administration said Thursday that U.S. special operation forces killed the leader of the Islamic State militant group during a counterterrorism mission overnight in Syria.
What happened: Thirteen people were killed in the U.S. raid in northwestern Syria, per The Washington Post.
- Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who became the leader of ISIS in October 2019, was killed in the attack, per The Associated Press.
- 13 people died in the explosion — including six children and four women.
- No U.S. casualties were reported.
- A helicopter from the U.S. was also destroyed in the attack due to a mechanical malfunction, according to ABC News.
President Biden, Vice President Harris and members of the President’s national security team observe the counterterrorism operation responsible for removing from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS. pic.twitter.com/uhK75WeUme— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 3, 2022
What he said: “Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden said, according to The Washington Post.
- “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,” Biden added.
Why it matters: “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,” per The Associated Press.