He is the second leader of the jihadist organization to die in just a few months
The Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed the death of a drone strike by Islamic State (ISIS, for his acronym in English) leader in Syria, Maher al Aqal. He is one of the five main figures of the jihadist group. The attack took place near Afrin, in the northwest of the country.
“This operation was planned in detail to ensure the success of its execution. The first assessment of what happened indicates that there were no civilian casualties from the attack by the US drone, the General Staff confirmed in a statement. The tactic of using drones has been heavily criticized for the trail of collateral damage and civilian casualties it has left in recent years.
The death of Al Aqal represents another blow to the terrorist organization, following the death of the top ISIS leader last February during an attack by the US military in Syria.
ISIS reached its peak in 2014, when it established an Islamic caliphate that controlled a vast area between Syria and Iraq. It was defeated in 2019, but small cells have been operating in countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan since then. One of his latest attacks was at Kabul airport, during the evacuation of the population after the Taliban took control of the country. 13 American soldiers were killed in the attack.
News of Al Aqal’s death coincides with Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East. A tour of Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
Source: La Verdad