A key Islamic State leader who helped grow the terrorist organization in Afghanistan and Iraq and 10 other members of the foreign terrorist group were killed on Wednesday when US Special Operations forces stormed a mountain complex in northern Somalia.
US officials said Thursday that during the military raid in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia ordered by President Joe Biden, special ops troops killed Bilal Al-Sudani, whim they were hoping to capture, and around 10 of Sudani’s associates at the scene.
There were no American casualties during the gunfight though one American serviceperson was bitten by a US military service dog during the raid.
Biden authorized the operation that had been prepared for months – with US forces rehearsing at a replicate of the site where Sudani was hiding – earlier this week after consulting with top defense, intelligence, and security officials.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of IS providing and coordinating funding for its operations in Africa and worldwide, including Daesh Khorasan, the arm operating in Afghanistan.
Before he joined Islamic State a decade ago, Sudani was recruiting and training fighters for the extremist Al-Shabab movement in Somalia, raising himself in the meantime to a key operational and financial position with specialized skills which made him an important target for US counterterrorism action, a US official said on condition of anonymity.
Biden has made it very clear that Washington is committed to finding and eliminating terrorist threats to the US and to the American people, wherever they are hiding and in coordination with and on behalf of the Somaly government, US forces have long operated in Somalia, mostly supporting official forces fighting Shabab rebels by conducting regular aerial strikes- dozens a year during 2017-2020 – but also with two to four ground operations in each year.
Be the first to comment