ISIS leader killed in US raid in Syria, Biden says

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  • Biden announced on Thursday that a counterterrorism raid in Syria killed the current ISIS leader.

  • Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed during a US military raid on Wednesday, Biden said.

  • Al-Qurayshi took control of the group after the former leader was killed in a 2019 raid.

The leader of ISIS was eliminated during a US counterterrorism raid in Syria, President Joe Biden said in a Thursday statement.

"Last night at my direction," the president said, "US 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."

"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. I will deliver remarks to the American people later this morning. May God protect our troops."

The White House posted a photo of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House Situation Room during the raid.

In a Wednesday-evening statement, the Pentagon said the raid was a success and that there were no US casualties.

But an American helicopter used in the raid experienced a technical malfunction, forcing the US military to destroy it as troops headed out aboard other aircraft, The Washington Post reported.

A total of 13 people — including six children and four women — were killed in the raid against the compound, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing first responders.

A US official told ABC News that the civilians were not killed by the US military but by the detonation of an explosive by the raid's target. The president confirmed this in an address Thursday morning.

"Our team is still compiling the report, but we do know that as our troops approached to capture the terrorist, in a final act of desperate cowardice, with no regard to the lives of his own family or others in the building, he chose to blow himself up, not just the vest but that third floor, rather than face justice for the crimes he's committed, taking several members of his family with him, just as his predecessor did," Biden said.

Poster of ISIS leader al-Qurayshi
A Department of State poster of ISIS leader Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, also known as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.US Department of State

Al-Qurayshi, who was known as Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, among other names, but led under the nom de guerre Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was named the leader of ISIS in October 2019, a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who detonated an explosive device and killed himself during a US-led raid in Idlib province.

The State Department's Rewards for Justice program had offered up to $10 million for tips and information on the ISIS leader's whereabouts. The reward was previously $5 million but was doubled after he began leading ISIS.

Read the original article on Business Insider