U.S. Special Operations forces carried out what the Pentagon called a “successful” counterterrorism mission in northwest Syria early Thursday.
The risky commando assault targeted someone believed to be a senior jihadist leader, but rescue workers said women and children were among at least 13 people killed during the raid.
A senior Iraqi intelligence official said the target of the raid was the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, but U.S. officials did not confirm that and have not said who the target was.
The helicopter-borne commando assault resembled the raid in October 2019 that culminated in the death of Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, the previous leader of the Islamic State.
That raid took place not far from the one on Thursday.
“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,” President Biden said in a statement. “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.”
(Source: The New York Times)