The Pentagon said that the leader of the Islamic State in Syria, Maher Al-Aqal, was killed in a drone attack in Syria. The man was reportedly one of the top five ISIS leaders.
As the Americans reported, A drone attack near Jindires, southwest of Syria, Near the border with Turkey. The target was two senior ISIS members, among them Maher Al-Aqal, “one of the five leaders of ISIS” and head of the ISIS cell in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had earlier reported an air strike in the Afrin region, near the border with Turkey. Two people who were riding a motorcycle were injured. According to Syrian media, one of the two men was carrying an identity card with the name “Khaled Sobeih”. The document is issued by the local administration of Afrin – the area is controlled by Tamarod.
Al-Aqal was killed in the attack and his partner was seriously injured. According to the Pentagon, no civilians were injured in the attack.
According to the Americans, Maher Al-Aqal “was responsible for the relentless pursuit of expanding the ISIS network outside Iraq and Syria.”
According to the observatory, al-Aqal was an officer in the Turkish-backed opposition group Ahrar al-Sharqiya. Within the ranks of ISIS, at a time when the organization controlled large areas of Iraq and Syria, he was active in Raqqa, the unofficial capital of the Islamic State. After the city was restored, he fled to the Afrin region.
The observatory indicates that al-Aqal was the brother of Fayez al-Aqal, the former governor of Raqqa during the period when the city was in the hands of the jihadists. Fayez was killed in a drone attack in June 2020 in the city of Al-Bab, near Aleppo.
Farhad al-Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (the alliance of Kurdish-Arab militias backed by the United States), tweeted that “hundreds of terrorists and ISIS leaders are still hiding in the territories occupied by Turkey.”
In February, the Americans reported the killing of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashem al-Quraishi. The man blew himself up and killed his family and other people, when US special forces began approaching the house where he was staying.
Al-Quraishi was due to take over the leadership of ISIS in 2019 after US special forces killed his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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