Planner of ISIS Europe attacks killed in US strike in Syria

By Pakistan Forward and AFP

A man inspects a site where a US drone strike killed ISIS leader Maher al-Agal near the village of Khaltan, near Jindires in northern Syria, on July 12. [Rami al-Sayed/AFP]

A man inspects a site where a US drone strike killed ISIS leader Maher al-Agal near the village of Khaltan, near Jindires in northern Syria, on July 12. [Rami al-Sayed/AFP]

A senior terrorist leader is dead after a US strike in Syria.

The US military last week conducted a "unilateral strike" in Syria that killed a senior "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) leader responsible for planning attacks in Europe.

The attack in northwestern Syria on April 3 killed senior ISIS leader Khalid Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri, the US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

Al-Jabouri was "responsible for planning (ISIS) attacks into Europe", it said.

He also "developed the leadership structure for ISIS", it added, noting that his death will "temporarily disrupt the organisation's ability to plot external attacks".

The statement did not specify the location of al-Jabouri's death.

But according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, al-Jabouri was killed in the northwestern province of Idlib, which is largely controlled by opposition and extremist groups.

It said he was killed in a drone strike while speaking on a telephone as he walked in the open near where he was staying.

Al-Jabouri, who was posing as a Syrian, had sought refuge in the area more than two weeks ago, according to the Observatory.

US forces have conducted a series of operations targeting ISIS leaders in Syria in recent years, alongside partner forces, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

A persistent threat

The latest strike came as ISIS attacks continue to claim lives in Syria.

The Observatory said it has documented 46 ISIS operations, including attacks and explosions, in areas of Syria under the control of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration since early 2023.

These have left 33 people dead, among them five civilians, it said.

In Syria's eastern desert (Badiya), ISIS has continued to stage brutal attacks on truffle hunters, killing more than 150 so far this season.

Some had their throats cut, while others had been kidnapped and then killed, with four of their abandoned corpses discovered last week, according to the Observatory.

Across the border in Iraq, the Iraqi army in March raided several ISIS hideouts in the west and east of the country, killing a large number of extremists, including foreign fighters and the group's leaders.

Iraqi officials and other sources said ISIS is weakened and short of money but still has a sting in its tail as it remains capable of inflicting harm on civilians.

"ISIS continues to represent a threat to the region and beyond," CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla said in a statement.

"Though degraded, the group remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East," Kurilla said.

ISIS has claimed a number of deadly attacks in Europe in recent years, including a November 2015 attack in Paris and its suburbs that killed 130 people and another in the French city of Nice in July 2016 that killed 86 people.

The same year, three suicide attacks in Belgium killed more than 30 people.

In August 2017, attacks claimed by ISIS in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain killed 16 people.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes required field 1500 / 1500