Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was the target of the raid. He took control of the militant group just days after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the area's U.S. military raid. Biden claimed that al-Qurayshi was killed in the same way as al-Baghdadi. He exploded a bomb and also killed his family members, including children and women, as U.S forces approached.
This operation was carried out as IS attempted to resurgence with a series attacks in the region. The most recent attack, which took place late last month to take over a northeast Syria prison holding at least 3000 IS detainees, was its boldest operation for many years.
Biden stated, "Thanks for the bravery and courage of our troops this terrible terrorist leader is no longer." Biden stated that al-Qurayshi was responsible for the prison strike and the genocide against Yazidi Iraqis in 2014.
Witnesses said that about 50 U.S. special forces flew in helicopters to attack a house in rebel-held Syria. They clashed for nearly two hours with gunmen. Residents reported continuous gunfire and explosions that rattled Atmeh, a town dotted with camps for internally-displaced Syrians near the Turkish border.
Biden stated that he instructed U.S. forces "to take every precaution possible to minimize civilian casualties," which is why they didn't conduct an airstrike against the home.
First responders reported 13 deaths, including six children and four mothers.
John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, stated that the U.S. forces managed to evacuate 10 people from their building. One man and a woman were taken from the first floor while four children were taken from the second. Al-Qurayshi also killed his wife, and two of their children when he detonated that bomb. Kirby stated that U.S. officials were conducting a review to determine if American actions resulted in civilian deaths.
Officials said that the U.S. forces collected fingerprints and DNA to confirm al-Qurayshi’s death.
According to an official, Biden was accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris as well as senior national security aides. They monitored the live feed from the White House Situation Room. Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, kept the president informed about the commandos' long flight from Syria.
This operation was a major military victory for the United States. It came at a crucial time after setbacks elsewhere, including the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, had led allies to conclude that U.S. global power was declining.
The house was surrounded by olive trees and fields outside Atmeh. Its top floor was shattered, and blood was sprayed inside. One journalist working for The Associated Press and others claimed to have seen body parts lying around the site. Residents spoke anonymously out of fear of reprisals.
John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated in a short statement that "The mission was successful." "There were no U.S. casualties."
Idlib is dominated by Turkish-backed fighters, but it is also a stronghold for al-Qaida and home to many of its top operatives. The region has also been home to extremists of the rival IS group and other militants.
Jamil El-Deddo, a local refugee camp resident, said that the first moments were frightening. "No one knew what was going on." "We were concerned it might be a Syrian aircraft. This brought back memories about barrel bombs that used be dropped on us," Jamil el-Deddo said, referring to the crude explosives-filled containers President Bashar al-Assad used against opposition forces during the Syrian conflict.
The top floor of this low house was almost destroyed. White bricks tumbled to the ground below.
The floor and walls of the structure were stained with blood. The bedroom contained a wooden crib for a child and a doll of a rabbit. A blue plastic baby swing hung from one wall. The house contained a number of religious books, including a biography about Islam's Prophet Mohammad.