During a daring overnight raid in northwestern Syria, special forces took down a high value ISIS leader, according to an announcement from the White House.

The new leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — who took over after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in 2019 under former President Donald Trump — was killed in a raid after detonating a suicide vest.

Al-Qurayshi had been acting as the leader of ISIS since October of 2019, taking over after al-Baghdadi blew himself up in a similar fashion while American forces were closing in on him.


“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,” Joe Biden said in a short statement issued by the White House. “All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”

“May God protect our troops,” the statement concluded.

The White House also noted that that Biden would be giving further remarks regarding the mission at 9:30 a.m.

According to reporting from multiple outlets, al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide vest during the raid, which ended up killing several members of his family along with himself.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Twitter that there were 13 total deaths in the raid, of which four were children and three were women.

#SOHR confirms that only US command and forces participating in this operation know the identities of the targeted individuals. However, the deaths of 13 people, including four children and three women, have been verified and confirmed,” the organization tweeted.

However, the Associated Press disputes those statistics. Citing first responders, the outlet claims that six children and four women were killed.

It isn’t clear whether the women and children killed in the raid were all members of al-Qurayshi’s family and inner circle.

The raid lasted roughly two hours, and was the largest in the Atmeh province since the operation that targeted al-Baghdadi in 2019.

According to reporting from the New York Post, “People on the ground reported seeing body parts around a targeted building, while local residents said the raid involved helicopters, explosions and machine gun fire. US troops were also reportedly seen using loudspeakers to urge women and children to leave the area. The top floor of the building was almost completely destroyed in the raid, with most of the walls and ceiling knocked down. Rubble was seen surrounding the building and blood was spotted on the remaining walls and floor.”

During the raid, one helicopter suffered a mechanical problem, and troops were forced to blow it up on the ground, according to a U.S. official.

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