Islamic State leader in Syria killed in US drone strike

Steph Deschamps / July 13, 2022

The leader of the Islamic State group in Syria was killed Tuesday in a U.S. drone strike in the country's northwest, the Pentagon announced.
Maher Al-Agal, billed as one of the five most senior leaders of the EI, was killed while riding a motorcycle near the town of Jandairis and his closest adviser was seriously wounded, Pentagon Central Command said in a statement.
Maher al-Agal was responsible for aggressively pursuing the development of EI networks outside of Iraq and Syria, and the elimination of these EI leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to plan and carry out attacks around the world, said Central Command spokesman Col. Joe Buccino.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an NGO with an extensive network of sources in Syria, confirmed the death of Maher al-Agal in a drone strike.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Washington-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, said one person was killed and another wounded in an airstrike targeting a motorcycle in the Aleppo area, without identifying the victims.
There is little information on Maher al-Agal, presented by the OSDH as the governor for the Levant of the jihadist organization.
After a meteoric rise to power in 2014 in Iraq and neighboring Syria and the conquest of vast territories, the EI saw its self-proclaimed caliphate overthrown under successive offensives in these two countries, in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
In February, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the death of former EI leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurachi, who blew himself up during a U.S. Special Forces operation in jihadist-controlled northwest Syria.
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