Biden says strike killing ISIS leader sends ‘powerful message’ to terrorists

Associated Press/ Susan Walsh
President Joe Biden

President Biden on Tuesday hailed a successful U.S. airstrike against an ISIS leader in Syria, saying it would degrade the terror group and send a “powerful message” to terrorists who threaten the United States.  

In a written statement issued by the White House, Biden thanked the U.S. military officials involved in the strike against Maher al-Agal, the leader of ISIS in Syria, and said that the U.S. and its allies would be safer as a result.  

“His death in Syria takes a key terrorist off the field and significantly degrades the ability of ISIS to plan, resource, and conduct their operations in the region,” Biden said.  

“This airstrike represents the culmination of determined and meticulous intelligence work and stands as testament to the bravery and skill of our armed forces,” he continued. “It also demonstrates that the United States does not require thousands of troops in combat missions to identify and eliminate threats to our country.” 

The U.S. Central Command earlier Tuesday confirmed that a strike had been carried out in northwest Syria that killed al-Agal and “seriously injured” another ISIS associate. Centcom said that an initial review suggested there were no civilian casualties in the airstrike.  

U.S. forces have conducted a series of successful operations against ISIS targets in the region in recent months.  

Last month, U.S.-led coalition forces said they captured Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, another senior ISIS leader, in a raid in northern Syria.  

A U.S. counterterrorism raid in northwest Syria back in February also killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who at the time was the leader of ISIS, the most significant U.S. raid in the country since the 2019 operation that killed his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

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