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US strike kills ISIS leader in Syria

MQ-9 Reaper UAS
Illustration: US Air Force file photo of an MQ-9 Reaper UAS

The US armed forces have killed one of the ISIS leaders in an unmanned aerial system (UAS) strike outside Jindayris, northwest Syria, on July 12.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces targeted two senior ISIS officials in the strike.

Maher al-Agal, one of the top five ISIS leaders and the leader of ISIS in Syria, was killed in the strike, while a senior ISIS official closely associated with Maher was seriously injured during the strike.

CENTCOM said that extensive planning went into the operation to ensure its successful execution, adding that an initial review indicates there were no civilian casualties.

In addition to being a senior leader within the group, Al-Agal was responsible for aggressively pursuing the development of ISIS networks outside of Iraq and Syria.

“This strike reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS,” said Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesperson. “The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks.”

“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the US and partners in the region,” Buccino added. “CENTCOM maintains a sufficient and sustainable presence in the region and will continue to counter threats against regional security.”

The July strike follows an earlier one from February this year, in which ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi blew himself up during a daring US raid.