UPDATE, 7:28 AM PT: President Joe Biden said that the ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died when he “chose to blow himself up,” killing himself as well as his family.
“Thanks to the bravery of our troops this horrible terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in brief remarks from the White House.
Local reports were that 13 people were killed, including six children and four women, according to the AP. The blast blew off the third floor of the building where the ISIS leader had been.
Biden said that they chose to embark on a helicopter and ground operation with U.S. forces, rather than a drone strike, to limit civilian casualties.
The ISIS leader’s death was similar to that of his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 2019, and took place in a similar region.
“Last night’s operation took a major terrorist leader off the battlefield, and it sent a strong message to terrorists around the world: We will come after you and find you,” Biden said.
From the Situation Room at the White House, Biden watched video of the mission live as it played out.
PREVIOUSLY: Broadcast and cable networks are expected to carry President Joe Biden’s remarks on Thursday announcing that U.S. forces in Syria conducted a raid that let to the death of the leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.
“Last night at my direction, U.S. 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,” Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. “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.”
Biden said that “all Americans have returned safely from the operation.”
According to reports, citing a senior administration official, al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi detonated a bomb that killed himself and members of his own family, and that included women and children, as U.S. forces neared.
The ISIS leader took over in 2019, after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a U.S. raid in the same region, according to the AP. Local reports were that 13 people were killed, including six children and four women, according to the AP.
More to come.
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