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ISIS leader detonates suicide bomb during U.S. raid

Posted February. 05, 2022 07:17,   

Updated February. 05, 2022 07:17


The thrilling story behind elite U.S. troops’ operation that led to the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, the leader of Sunni militant group the Islamic State, has been revealed. Ibrahim al-Qurashi has been avoiding the U.S. military’s attacks by using family members and children living in the same building as human shields.

According to The Associated Press and other sources, three choppers carrying dozens of elite U.S. troops arrived at the village of Atmeh in Idlib province in northwestern Syria around 1:30 a.m. on the day. Ibrahim al-Qurashi was in hiding on the third floor at a three-story house surrounded by olive trees, while a senior IS official was living on the second floor. A civilian who had no link with IS and was not aware of the existence of Ibrahim al-Qurashi there was living on the first floor.

The U.S. military did not launch attacks at the house immediately, and instead urged “women and children to come out” through loudspeakers several times. Several rounds of gun fire and explosions were heard, and Ibrahim al-Qurashi detonated bombs to kill himself, his wife and two children. The senior IS official and his wife on the second floor was also reportedly dead. When emergency medics arrived at the scene after the operation, they found 13 people dead, including six children and four women, even though some of the residents there had evacuated.

In his speech to Americans, U.S. President Joe Biden said, “This is evidence that we can remove terrorists wherever they go into hiding. We have sent a powerful message to terrorists that ‘we will chase and hunt you down.’” He went on to say of Ibrahim al-Qurashi, “Just like his predecessors, he did not care about the lives of his family, and brought them with him.”

The White House also disclosed photos of the White House situation room where President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their aides directed the operation. Watchers say that the Biden administration, which has been under criticism due to the Ukraine crisis and confusion over the U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, sought to emphasize a rare foreign policy achievement and reverse the falling approval rating.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com