BREAKING: US drone strike kills senior ISIS leader Maher al-Agal in northwestern Syria
The strike killed senior ISIS leader Maher al-Agal, US officials said Tuesday morning, taking credit for the daytime attack in the northern village of Khaltan in the Syrian countryside.
Al-Agal – one of the top five leaders in the terrorist group – was riding a motorbike in the village when he was targeted by the American missile, which killed him instantly.
Another senior ISIS official was also hit by the attack, officials said, but survived. The official, who was not named, was reportedly wounded. The extent of his injuries are unknown.
Al-Agal’s body, which was badly burned and mutilated in the attack, was transported to an Idlib hospital.
The attack took place in the Jenderies district in Afrin – an area northwest of Aleppo, near the country’s shared border with Turkey.
The war-torn region has been under occupation by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) since March 2018.
The strike killed senior ISIS leader Maher al-Agal, US officials said Tuesday morning, taking credit for the attack in the northern village of Khaltan in the Syrian countryside. Pictured are Syrian officials surveying the damage at the site
The attack took place in the Jenderies district in Afrin – an area northwest of Aleppo, near the country’s shared border with Turkey. The region has become a haven for hundreds of ISIS terrorists and leaders in recent years, as the country continues to face a civil war
Despite this, the region has become a haven for hundreds of ISIS terrorists and leaders in recent years, who have made use of the areas sprawling mountain ranges and fields to set up bases of operations amid the ongoing civil war.
The attack serves as a reminder of the US’ pledge to aid the Syrian government in their struggles against the militant group.
The strike also fits a previous pattern by US military officials, where senior ISIS leaders are assassinated by drone strikes or US military operations in areas under Turkish control – including Afrin.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) – a Department of Defense combatant command – took credit for the attack Tuesday, saying ‘extensive planning’ went into the strike, but kept details sparse as to its specifics.
‘This strike reaffirms CENTCOM’s steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS,’ Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesperson for the agency told reporters, adding that the strike saw no civilian casualties.
‘The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks.’
The colonel added: ‘Extensive planning went into this operation to ensure its successful execution.’
The attack comes just over two weeks after the US killed Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a senior leader of the al-Qaeda-aligned Hurras al-Din group, in a drone strike.