Islamic State Leader Killed During US Raid in Syria

Photo credit: AP

The top leader of the Islamic State group has been killed in a raid conducted by U.S. special forces. 

ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi has been one of the most wanted men in the world. It is believed that last month’s special assault on a prison that was holding Islamic State inmates in Syria was directed by Qurayshi. 

As the U.S. military closed in on Thursday, Qurayshi detonated a bomb, killing himself as well as members of his family, including women and children. 

Before the raid that resulted in Qurayshi’s death, the U.S. conducted a separate but related air raid overnight. According to the Pentagon, U.S. special forces successfully hunted down high-ranking jihadist militants in a raid conducted by air, which killed 13. The operation marks one of the biggest yet by U.S. forces in the Idlib region, which is jihadist-controlled since the 2019 raid that killed the previous Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

The northwestern province of Idlib is home to several top al-Qaida operatives. The U.S. has accused al-Qaeda of using war-torn Syria as their safe haven to not only rebuild but also plan and coordinate attacks. 

Thursday’s operations come as the Islamic State has been appearing to stage a comeback and re-establish a caliphate. In the past several weeks and months, ISIS has launched many attacks across the region.

The 10-day assault to seize the prison in an attempt to release fellow jihadist inmates was the most recent. The attempted prison break was the largest military operation that ISIS has made since it was defeated. Gweiran prison, also known as al-Sinaa prison, is now under the control of U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. 

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