UPDATED 12:48 PM PT – Thursday, February 3, 2022
Several people were killed in a U.S. Special Forces counterterrorism raid against a top ISIS leader in Northwest Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said there were no U.S. casualties in what has been deemed a “successful mission.” The goal of the raid was to eliminate ISIS commander Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, also known as Haji Abdullah, near the Turkish border Thursday. Haji Abdullah was reportedly wearing a suicide vest that detonated during the raid.
Intelligence showed that Haji Abdullah usually surrounded himself with women and children, so the decision was made to send in a special ops unit. This offered greater danger to U.S. personnel, but less chance of civilian casualties than airstrikes. Local residents said helicopters hovered overhead asking women and children to leave the area on loudspeakers. Despite this, six children and four women were reportedly among the 13 dead.
Video footage from the site of the US raid in northwestern Syria, where 13 people, including 6 children and 4 women, were reportedly killed https://t.co/ufiMe8hbbe
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) February 3, 2022
Thursday’s operation appears to be the largest of its kind by U.S. forces in the region since Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special operations raid in 2019.
While speaking from the Roosevelt Room Thursday, Joe Biden briefly commented on the situation despite the importantance of the mission. He didn’t take questions following his remarks and, instead, said he was late for his plane to New York where he was headed to discuss a new anti-gun task force.
Join me as I deliver remarks on a successful counterterrorism operation in Northwest Syria to protect the American people and make the world a safer place. https://t.co/RwBJYD9s5m
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 3, 2022