President Biden has announced the leader of ISIS has been killed during a U.S. raid in Syria.
Biden said in a statement Thursday that U.S. military forces undertook a counterterrorism operation early Thursday, and "thanks to the skill and bravery of our armed forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS." Biden added that "all Americans have returned safely from the operation."
The announcement comes after The New York Times previously reported that U.S. Special Operations raided a two-story house in Syria, pursuing a "high value" target. "The mission was successful," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. "There were no U.S. casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available." Thirteen people, including four women and six children, were reportedly killed, according to The Associated Press.
The Times reported that there was a "long, tense standoff" and a "major battle erupted" involving rocket-propelled grenades. "The size, scope, and duration of the battle suggested that the target of the raid was likely a senior Qaeda figure," the Times reported. "The fact that the United States risked sending in commandos, and not just launching airstrikes, also suggested the focus of the raid was a senior figure." Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi has been leader of ISIS since 2019, when previous leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a U.S. raid.
Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks from the White House about the raid on Thursday morning.