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US forces kill senior Islamic State Leader in Syria

The US carried out a military operation in Syria that killed a senior Islamic State leader on Monday, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the latest blow to a group that once terrorized the Middle East.

According to the statement, Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri was in charge of planning Islamic State attacks in Europe and developing the group’s leadership structure.

At its peak in 2014, the Islamic State-controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria before being defeated in both countries. According to a February UN report, the group has 5,000 to 7,000 members and supporters spread across Syria and Iraq, with roughly half of them fighters.

According to CENTCOM, no civilians were killed or injured in this strike, and the group “continues to pose a threat to the region and beyond.”

“Though degraded, the group remains capable of conducting operations within the region and has expressed a desire to strike beyond the Middle East,” according to the statement. It went on to say that the death of al-Jabouri would “temporarily disrupt the group’s ability to plot external attacks.”

The threat posed by the Islamic State and its affiliates to international peace and security was high in the second half of 2022, according to the UN report, and had increased in and around conflict zones where it has a presence.

After the previous leader was killed in southern Syria, the Islamic State announced late last year that it had appointed a previously unknown figure – Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Quraishi – as its leader.

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