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ISIS leader blows himself up during US raid in Syria

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ISIS leader blows himself up during US raid in Syria
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Syrians gather at the scene following an overnight raid by US forces.

Atme, Syria: US special forces carried out a nighttime airborne raid Thursday in northwestern Syria during which the head of the Islamic State group blew himself and his family up, the White House said.

Rescue workers said at least 13 people also died in the operation, including women and children.

The death is a serious blow to the terrorist group, whose capabilities have been severely degraded and dispersed, since coalition forces destroyed their 'caliphate' about three years ago.

President Joe Biden Thursday issued a brief statement early on Thursday describing the death as an "act of desperate cowardice.

"Last night's operation took a major terrorist leader off the battlefield," Biden said in remarks from the White House.

"As our troops approached to capture the terrorist, in a final act of desperate cowardice, with no regard to the lives of his own family or others in the building, he chose to blow himself up... rather than face justice for the crimes he has committed," the US leader said.

In detonating the bomb, Qurashi "took several members of his family with him, just as his predecessor did," Biden added.

He described the raid as a "counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies, and make the world a safer place."

The nighttime special forces raid in Syria's northwestern Idlib region dealt the biggest setback to the jihadist group since Qurashi's better-known predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a similar operation in 2019.

Joe Biden said the chief of the ISIS had been killed during a raid by US forces in Syria

Biden said the Syria operation had sent a strong message to terrorists around the world: "We will come after you and find you."

"I've been trying to protect the American people from terrorist threats, and I'll take decisive action to protect this country," Biden said, vowing that US forces will remain "vigilant" and prepared.

Biden said the special forces raid was carried out instead of an air strike to "minimize civilian casualties."

"Knowing that this terrorist had chosen to surround himself with families, including children, we made a choice to pursue a special forces raid at a much greater risk to our own people, rather than targeting him (Qurashi) with an air strike."

A senior official told AFP that all casualties in the raid "were due to the acts of ISIS terrorists," using another acronym for IS.

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TAGS:ISIS terrorist isis chief us raid 
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