US drone strike kills ISIS leader in Syria ahead of Biden’s visit to the Middle East
The strike comes as U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to embark on his trip to the Middle East
The United States carried out an airstrike in northwest Syria early Tuesday that killed the leader of ISIS, Maher al-Agal.
According to defense officials, al-Agal was "responsible for aggressively pursuing the development of ISIS networks outside of Iraq and Syria."
The strike seriously wounded a senior ISIS official closely associated with al-Agal, according to a statement issued by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
"This strike reaffirms CENTCOM's steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS," said Col. Joe Buccino, a Central Command spokesperson. "The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks."
"Extensive planning went into this operation to ensure its successful execution," added the statement. "An initial review indicates there were no civilian casualties."
The strike comes as U.S. President Joe Biden prepares for his trip to the Middle East, which will include stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
Last month, U.S. ground forces captured a senior leader of the Islamic State in a rare operation in northern Syria.
In February, U.S. Special-Ops forces targeted ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who detonated a suicide vest during the raid and killed himself. His predecessor, the first leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, killed himself in October 2019 during a raid on a compound where he was located.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.