The chief of the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in an in a single day US particular forces raid in north-western Syria, senior US officers say.
“Due to the talent and bravado of our armed forces, we have now taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi,” President Joe Biden stated.
Qurayshi detonated a bomb that killed him and members of his family, administration officers informed US media.
Syrian first responders stated they discovered the our bodies of 13 folks after the raid.
A number of US helicopters reportedly landed on the outskirts of the opposition-held city of Atmeh, which is in northern Idlib province and is near the border with Turkey, round midnight on Thursday (22:00 GMT on Wednesday).
Native sources stated the troops confronted stiff resistance on the bottom, and that they got here beneath fireplace from heavy anti-aircraft weapons mounted on automobiles.
Gunfire and shelling had been heard for 2 hours earlier than the helicopters left.
The New York Instances reported that one helicopter was deserted after struggling a mechanical drawback, and that it was later destroyed in a US air strike. Photographs of the wreckage have been posted on-line.
President Biden stated all Individuals concerned had returned safely from the operation, which he declared would “defend the American folks and our allies, and make the world a safer place”.
An AFP information company correspondent who visited a two-storey house that seemed to be focused within the raid stated it bore the scars of an intense battle – with blood-splattered partitions, torn window frames, charred ceilings and a partly collapsed roof.
The White Helmets, also called the Syria Civil Defence, stated in a press release that its first responders reached the constructing at 03:15 and recovered the our bodies of 13 folks, together with six youngsters and 4 girls.
Additionally they discovered an injured woman whose different members of the family had been killed within the raid, the organisation stated. She was taken to hospital together with a person who was injured when he approached the constructing in the course of the clashes to see what was occurring, it added.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, additionally put the loss of life toll at 13, however stated 4 youngsters and three girls had been killed.
The senior US official informed Reuters information company: “Firstly of the operation the terrorist goal exploded a bomb that killed him and members of his family, together with girls and youngsters.”
“Whereas we’re nonetheless assessing the outcomes of this operation, this seems to be the identical cowardly terrorist tactic we noticed within the 2019 operation that eradicated al-Baghdadi,” he added.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Qurayshi’s predecessor, killed himself and three youngsters in October 2019 by detonating an explosive vest throughout a US particular forces raid on a hideout that was solely 16km (10 miles) away from Atmeh.
North-western Syria is a stronghold of jihadist teams and Turkish-backed insurgent factions which are fierce rivals of IS.