(Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden announced Thursday morning a U.S. raid in Syria overnight killed the new leader of ISIS Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.
“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation,” Biden said in a statement. “Thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces, we have removed from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS.”
“All Americans have returned safely from the operation,” he said.
The raid killed 13 people, including women and children. It is not known if al-Qurayshi was among the 13. The Syrian Civil Defense, said earlier Thursday that the deceased was believed to have died in bombings “after an American airdrop.”
Al-Qurayshi was named ISIS leader in October 2019 after his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was also killed in an air raid in the same month.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement there had been no U.S. casualties in the Special Operations forces mission.
Speaking later on the raid, Biden said Al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide bomb “in a final act of desperate cowardice,” Biden said. The blast also killed his wife and children, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
A senior deputy of al-Qurayshi and his wife were also killed after attacking U.S. forces, Kirby said.
Biden did not say how many people died in connection with the raid but the volunteer relief group The White Helmets pulled 13 bodies, which included six children and four women among them.
“In that engagement, two of them were killed. That resulted at the end of the hostile activity,” Kirby said.
Al-Qurayshi “oversaw the spread of ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups around the world after savaging communities and murdering innocents,” Biden said.
Mohamed al-Omar, 65, told NBC News the building that was targeted belongs to his son, who has been living in Germany since 2016.